Zamboanga open pit mining ban challenged
TVI Pacific Inc. of Canada said its local affiliate, TVI Resource Development Phils. Inc. (TVIRD), was preparing to challenge in court an ordinance that banned open cut mining in Zamboanga del Norte.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, TVI Pacific called the ordinance, passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Zamboanga del Norte, “unconstitutional.” The Inquirer reported on Tuesday the provincial assembly had published the ordinance on Friday.
“It is the opinion of TVIRD’s external Philippine legal counsel that the powers assumed by the province, and by the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Norte under the ordinance, are in direct contravention of Philippine laws passed by the Congress, including the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the Local Government Code of 1991, and are therefore unconstitutional,” the statement said.
The ordinance also introduces “sweeping” provincial regulatory powers over mining operations and applications for new mining tenements, TVI Pacific said. The Canadian miner believes such “would be viewed as unacceptable by the national government.”
The company said the ordinance was filed with no advance notice to TVIRD or TVI Pacific, given its project in Canatuan.
The ordinance, which is supposed to take effect on November 6, gives TVIRD one year to close the Canatuan project.
“TVIRD intends to continue operating at Canatuan without disruption during this period,” TVI Pacific said.
The Canadian miner said its Philippine affiliate would file “a series of legal actions” in courts to prevent the ordinance’s implementation.
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