The Philippines is reportedly one of the most mineralrich countries in the world for gold, nickel, copper and chromite. In recent years it was estimated that the nation had some 840 billion in untapped mineral wealth. In 2016, the nation's mining industry employed some 236,000 workers.
Artisanal and smallscale gold mining boosts rural programs and infrastructure development in the Philippines. ASGM is a main source of income for rural communities in the Philippines and has been a alyst for social and economic progress where it operates, such as the small town of Buenavista, Quezon, home to around 30,000 people.