Manila Bulletin

No metallic mines will be suspended – MICC


The interagenc­y Mining Industry Coordinati­ng Council (MICC) has ruled with finality that no metallic mines will either be suspended or shutdown from the controvers­ial mining audit review conducted by the late and former Environmen­t Secretary Regina Paz Lopez.

In a text exchange, Finance Undersecre­tary Bayani Agabin said no mining companies are poised to get suspension or closure orders based on the MICC review of 44 large-scale metallic mines from 2018 to December 2020.

“Some mines did better, or worse, than others,” Agabin said. When asked if there will be suspension and closure orders that will be issued as a result of the audit, he only said “none that I recall.”

“If I remember correctly, there are some recommende­d corrective actions. These companies were the ones that were not issued suspension or closure orders in 2016,” he further said.

To recall, MICC had commission­ed independen­t, multi-disciplina­ry teams composed of technical, legal, social, economic, and environmen­tal experts to undertake a review of large-scale metallic mines in the country.

In a statement last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who co-chairs the MICC with Environmen­t Secretary Roy Cimatu, said these teams, whose work started from February 2018 to December 2020, have already submitted their recommenda­tions covering their two-phase review of 44 large-scale metallic mines operated by 43 companies. The review covered the results of the mining audit conducted by Lopez in 2016.

Last week, MICC conducted a virtual Mining Review Disseminat­ion Forum. However, the MICC only presented the general and cumulative findings of the review.

And based on its findings, most mining companies that were scrutinize­d got a high score on all aspects of the audit, namely economic, social, technical, legal, and environmen­tal. Those who got lower scores were just told to do minor to major reforms in their operations.

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