Decision on cases of 27 mining firms out in early July
Mines that were ordered closed and suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over a year ago can expect a decision on their cases by the first week of July, according to an official.
Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said in a phone interview that the interagency council had just finished its preliminary review of the 27 mines which would be up for final review by the end of the month.
The agency is expecting to release the results by the first week of July following the approval of the Office of the President (OP).
Leones said the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) technical working group categorized the mines on a scale of 0 to 3. Companies under category 3 would be those with acceptable mining practices and are in compliance with the standard set by the government. Those under category 2 have minor violations of environmental practices while those under category 1 committed major violations. Firms that fall under category 0 may have to close down operations, since their violations are deemed “unacceptable.”
“The MICC will adopt and endorse to the OP its final findings,” Leones said.
“I just want to emphasize and clarify that the meeting yesterday only tackled the result of preliminary findings. It can still be changed,” he added.
Leones noted that the MICC was a recommendatory body, and the final decision on the fate of the mining firms would still depend on the DENR and the Palace.
Mines that were reviewed were rated based on four of the five standards set by the council’s technical review teams, which was composed of 25 experts. These standards include the legal, technical, environmental and social aspects of mining operations.
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