DAVAO CITY, Philippines—An environmental activist group on Thursday lauded Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for ordering the closure of 21 large-scale mining companies in the country.
“This is a significant victory for the long-standing people’s struggles against destructive large-scale mining and a job well done for Sec. Lopez,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
Bautista added that the Department of Department of Environment and Natural Resources should immediately enforce the order.
“We urge all relevant government agencies to immediately enforce the closure and suspension of all 26 mining companies, as the affected communities have been clamouring to expedite this since the announcement of the mining audit’s initial results last September,” he said.
The decision to close the mining operations of the large-scale mining companies was the culmination of the DENR’s mining audit covering all 40 operating large-scale mines in the country. It can be recalled that back in September 2016, there are 10 mines upheld for suspension and some 20 more recommended for suspension.
“Sec. Lopez should compel all the erring mining companies to compensate for the full rehabilitation of the degraded watersheds, agricultural lands, and other ecosystems. The compensation should unconditionally go to the DENR’s plan to engage communities in an ‘area development approach’ in restoring and redeveloping the sites that will be vacated by the mines,” Bautista said.
The large-scale mining companies ordered for closure were:
- BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Incorporated
- Eramen Minerals Incorporated
- LNL Archipelago Minerals Incorporated
- Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation
- Mt Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corporation
- Emir Minerals Corporation
- Techiron Mineral Resources Incorporated
- AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration
- Krominco, Incorporated
- Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation
- Libjo Mining Corporation
- Adnama Mining Resources, Incorporated
- Platinum Group Metals Corporation
- Claver Mineral Development Corporation
- Hinatuan Mining Corporation
- Sinosteel PH
- Wellex Mining
- Oriental Synergy
- CTP Construction and Mining
- Carrascal Nickel
The five mining companies suspended were:
- OceanaGold Phils Incorporated
- Lepanto Consolidated
- Citinickel Mines and Development
- Berong Nickel Corporation
- Ore Asia Mining and Development
“All affected communities hosting these mines up for closure or suspension must remain vigilant as we expect resistance from the mining companies and the bureaucrats in their fold. Sec. Lopez should strengthen her cooperation with grassroots communities and social movements in working towards the closure of all these erring mines,” he said. (davaotoday.com)