No mining firm to be spared from audit, says Lopez
Environment Secretary Regina Lopez Wednesday said all mining projects, large and small, were undergoing an audit, reiterating that no company will be spared if found violating environmental laws.
“We’re doing all—small, big, everyone,” Lopez said. “All mining areas will be audited, all ECCs (environmental compliance certificates), permits, everything will be audited in the light of the common good.”
“If you break the law, there are penalties,” she said, belying talks that only small players were being shuttered.
Environment Undersecretary Leo L. Jasareno noted that Citinickel Mines and Development Corp., Berong Nickel Corp. and Benguet Corp.—all major industry players—have had their projects stopped because of the audit.
“We’re also auditing Lepanto Consolidated Mining and Philex Mining in Luzon, Atlas Consolidated in Visayas, Oceana Gold in Region 2, and Filminera in Masbate,” said Jasareno, who is in charge of the audit campaign.
“We are also waiting for the findings (of the audit on Taganito Mining and SR Metals Inc.,” Jasareno said, mentioning some of the biggest miners in the country.
As of last Monday, the latest to be shuttered was the operation of Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp. in Bulacan, the country’s only iron-ore producer.
Other mining firms whose operations have been suspended include Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.—all four in Zambales, as well as Citinickel Mines and Development Corp., Berong Nickel Corp., and Claver Mineral Development Corp.
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