Iron ore miner is latest casualty of gov’t clampdown
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has stopped the operations of the Philippines’ sole iron ore-producing mine in Bulacan, the latest to fall in a wide-ranging audit of mining operations across the country.
Environment Undersecretary Leo Jasareno Monday said in a briefing that Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp., which producers iron ore in the town of Doña Remedios Trinidad, failed to secure an ISO certification.
Jasareno was referring to a rule spelled out in Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 7 issued in 2015, which required mining companies to secure ISO:14001 certificates.
According to the International Organization for Standardization, the 14001 standard maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. “Using (ISO 14001) can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved,” the group said in its website.
Jasareno also said that there was a complaint lodged against Ore Asia about the firm allegedly causing the siltation of a river that runs through its mining area.
“The river turned reddish brown,” the undersecretary said.
The result is that Ore Asia’s ore transport permit has been withdrawn and the environmental compliance certificate —a major permit in mining—suspended.
Jasareno described Ore Asia as a medium-scale mining operator, which produces about 40,000 tons of ore a year.
“It (Ore Asia) has two customers, Eagle Cement, which has a plant in Bulacan, and a buyer from overseas,” the official said.
Ore Asia’s mining operation is the eighth to be suspended under the Duterte administration.
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