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Gina Lopez to bare fate of 30 mining firms

/ 01:15 AM January 30, 2017
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez will announce on Thursday her final decision whether to close down 30 mining operations that failed their initial audit a few months ago.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reviewed the audit results made known on Sept. 27, which “ordered suspended” 10 mining operations and “recommended for suspension” the operations of 20 others.

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The audit team reportedly found that the mining operations violated the terms and conditions of their environmental compliance certificate (ECC), the DENR rules on mine safety and health standards, and implementing rules of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

DENR said out of the 41 operating metallic mines in the country, only 11 complied with environmental standards.

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DENR gave the erring mining companies the opportunity to explain why their operations should not be suspended.

Ordered suspended

The 10 mines that were ordered suspended belong to Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc.; Berong Nickel Corp.; Citinickel Mines and Development Corp.; Claver Mineral Development Corp.; Emir Mineral Resources Corp.; Eramen Minerals Inc.;

LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc.; Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration & Development Corp.; Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp.; and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

The 20 mines that face suspension belong to AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration and Development Corp. (Parcels 1 and 2B); Adnama Mining Resources Inc.; Agata Mining Ventures Inc.; Benguet Corp.; Carrascal Nickel Corp.; Century Peak Corp. (Casiguran Nickel and Rapid City Nickel projects); CTP Construction and Mining Corp.;

Hinatuan Mining Corp.; Krominco Inc.; Filminera Resources Corp./Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp.; Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co.; Libjo Mining Corp.; Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.; OceanaGold Phils. Inc.; Oriental Synergy Mining Corp.; Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp.; Sinosteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp.; Strongbuilt Mining Development Corp.; Wellex Mining Corp.; and SR Metals Inc.

The audit team was composed of representatives from the DENR central and regional offices, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, Biodiversity Management Bureau, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and civil society organizations.

Lopez earlier said the DENR would not hesitate to shut down mining operations found to have violated environmental, health and safety regulations and standards.

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A week after assuming office on July 1, she created an audit team to look into possible violations of environmental safeguards of all 41 operating metallic mines.

The mining audit focused on issues of safety and health, environmental management, social development, mining tenement and standards under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and laws on hazardous and solid waste management.

“We will not just look at the technical side but also the social practices—what are the effects of these firms on the residents, on the water supply, among others,” Lopez had said before the audit began.

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TAGS: Environment Secretary  Gina Lopez, mining audit, Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Philippine news updates
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