Suspension on Lepanto Mining lifted
After eight months, the suspension order on Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. imposed by former Environment Secretary Regina Lopez has been lifted upon the order of the Office of the President.
In a statement, the firm said it received a copy of the decision dated Oct. 12 wherein the company was given six months to “implement appropriate mitigating measures.”
It was also ordered to pay fines to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and to the Environmental Management Bureau of P27,275 and P100,000, respectively.
Additionally, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was also directed to conduct a monthly inspection of the company’s mining operations and submit a monthly report to Malacañang regarding the mining firm’s compliance.
Lepanto’s communications head Salvador Mendizabal said they were currently considering their options vis-à-vis the decision.
Lepanto and four other mining firms were suspended on the grounds that their mine sites were situated inside a watershed.
The Office of the President’s decision was based on the findings of the DENR’s audit reviews and came before the results of a separate review being conducted by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) on the country’s existing mines.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu earlier said his policy direction would heavily rely on the findings of MICC that are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
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