BSP targets small-scale gold miners to strengthen buffers


For small-scale miners to sell more gold to the country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has offered them tax exemptions.
“We’re looking at making our rates more attractive to small-scale miners,” said Joseph Norbert S. David, director of the BSP Mint and Refinery Operations Department during an online lecture on Friday.
“We’re also looking at minimizing the processing costs.”


MANILA — Last year, the BSP said it would shift to active gold trading amid rising prices of gold, which is considered a safe-haven asset during crises.

David said gold sellers get 99% in advanced payment. The remaining 1% “retention money” is settled once they complete the assaying of the gold.

He bared that the BSP is considering increasing the advanced payment further, he added. It might also fast-track processing of payments to attract more small miners.

“We’re trying to fast-track the turnaround time. We’re looking at possibilities on how to minimize the turnaround time of the payments and final assaying of golds sold to us,” David said.

Much of the gold output comes from Baguio and Davao, he added.

The BSP official said the initiatives are expected to spur small-scale miners to sell gold to the central bank instead of the black market.

“Unfortunately, we have unverified reports and some studies that there are sellers who still go to the black market. Improving our rates, our prices and our operations by reducing our cost is one way of addressing this,” David said.

The country’s central bank’s gold holdings stood at $9.148 billion as of end-August, 0.7% higher than in July but 24% lower year on year.

A 2019 law exempted small-scale miners and traders from paying tax for gold sold to the BSP to strengthen the country’s foreign exchange buffers.

The gross international reserves rose by 0.7% to $107.96 billion as of end-August from a month earlier, according to the latest BSP data. (JD/JuanManila)

Featured image: The downside of small-scale gold mining is that child labor is a common sight. /Credit: The World/EILER


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