MANILA, Philippines — Suspended mining firms will have the opportunity to present their side and to dispute the audit findings of the Environment department, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the evaluation of the environment and natural resources sector was discussed during the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
“The president and his Cabinet collectively decided to observe due process with regard to the mining issue,” Abella said in a statement.
“This means companies affected by mining closures for violations of environmental laws and regulations will be given the opportunity to respond or dispute with the audit, or make the necessary remedies to ensure compliance with government standards,” he added.
Abella said the Department of Finance would have further discussions with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as concerned state agencies of the Minding Industry Coordinating Council.
Early this month, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of 23 metallic mines and suspended five others for serious environmental violations.
The closure orders against the 23 companies were based on the final results and recommendations of the multisectoral audit teams formed to look into the compliance of mining operators with existing environmental laws and regulations.
The mining firms who were slapped with closure orders were:
BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc.
Eramen Minerals Inc.
Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.
and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc.
all in Zambales province, mainly because of siltation of rivers, destruction of a functional watershed and illegal tree-cutting
Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp.
Emir Minerals Corp.
and TechIron Mineral Resources Inc.
in Homonhon mainly for siltation of coastal waters and destruction of functional watershed
AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration
SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp.
Oriental Synergy Mining Corp.
Wellex Mining Corp.
Libjo Mining Corp.
and Oriental Vision Mining Phils. Corp.
in Dinagat Islands mainly for siltation of coastal waters
ADNAMA Mining Resources Corp.
Claver Mineral Development Corp.
Platinum Group Metals Corp.
CTP Construction and Mining Corp.
Carrascal Nickel Corp.
Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.
and Hinatuan Mining Corp.
in Surigao del Norte mainly for siltation of coastal waters and mining in functional watersheds.
The five mining companies that were suspended by Lopez were Berong Nickel Corp., OceanaGold Phils., Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp., Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. and Strong Built Mining Development Corp.
The Environment chief has also suspended Benguet Corporation in Itogon, Benguet and Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp. in Bulacan.
By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated February 8, 2017 - 4:38pm