MICC review to cost government P20 million
THE six-month review of existing mining operations will cost the government P20 million and will be conducted by experts to be commissioned by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu signed on August 16 the memorandum of agreement covering the review, but the MOA still up for signature by the DOF and DAP, according to DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change and Mining Concerns Analiza R. Teh.
The conduct of the second batch of the review of existing mining operations was discussed at the 33rd meeting of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) in December 2018.
The project entitled, “Conduct of an Objective, Fact-finding and Science-based Review of Performance of Existing Mining Operations-Phase II” will cover 17 existing large-scale mining companies.
These are: Agata Mining Ventures Inc., Apex Mining Corp., Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., Cagdianao Mining Corp., Century Peak Corp., FCF Minerals Corp., Filminera Resources Corp., Greenstone Resources Corp., Pacific Nickel Philippines, Philex Mining Corp., Philsaga Mining Corp., Platinum Group Metals, Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., SR Metals Incorp., Taganito Mining Corp., TechIron Resources Inc. and Tribal Mining Corp.
According to Teh, the review will assess the performance of these mining companies on the technical, legal, social, environmental and economic aspects of mining operations, the same aspects covered by the first MICC Review. Under the agreement, the DENR and DOF will give P20 million to the DAP, which shall procure and engage the services of experts on the five aspects of mining review.
The social and environmental aspects of the mining audit was given more weight during the crackdown on erring mining companies launched by the late Regina Lopez during her short stint as DENR chief.
During her 10-month campaign, Lopez recommended the closure or suspension of 28 large-scale mining operations; canceled 75 inactive mineral production sharing agreements for projects near or within watersheds; and ordered the ban on open-pit mining method for gold, copper, silver and complex ores.
Lopez’s appointment to the DENR was rejected by the Commission on Appointments. Mining companies are appealing for reversals of Lopez’s mining policies, questioning their legal basis and insisting on compliance with the implementing rules and regulations under the existing mining law—the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.