MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Denr Transfers Disposition Of Cancelled Mining Permits To New Gov't Corporation

Published by MAC on 2007-05-30
Source: Manila Bulletin

DENR transfers disposition of cancelled mining permits to new gov't corporation

By EDU LOPEZ, Manila Bulletin

30th May 2007

The Philippine Mining Development Corp. (PMDC) will administer the disposition of all cancelled mining permits that is expected to generate more revenue for the government.

The transfer of the function to dispose cancelled mining permits to PMDC from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is another major step in revitalizing the local mining industry, according to DENR Sec. Angelo T. Reyes.

The move would open up some 68,625 hectares of mineral lands that have been idle for many years by uncommitted investors. The order covers all mining permits cancelled by the DENR under memorandum orders No. 2005-3 and No. 2005-13, which included 65 non-performing permits in various areas in the country.

"This will enable the entry of more serious investors, thus further spurring development and economic activity in the mining sector. At the same time, this will result in higher revenues from government mining assets," Reyes said. Reyes, who is also the chairman of the PMDC, said that transferring the management of these permits to a governmentowned corporation would allow government greater flexibility and leverage in developing these mines.

The transfer would put the task of disposing vacated mineral lands to PMDC, formerly known as the Natural Resources Mining development Corp., through public bidding.

However, PDMC also has the option to develop and operate these mines by itself or in joint venture with a qualified private party or contractor.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) would coordinate with PMDC on the orderly and appropriate transfer of all relevant documents and information as soon as possible.

It may be recalled that then DENR Secretary Michael T. Defensor issued DMO No. 2005-03 on February 1, 2005 canceling 93 non-performing mining permits.

He later issued DMO No. 2005-13 declaring as final and executory the cancellation of 65 of 93 idle permits, while the remaining 28 permits were subjected to further review in view of the motions for reconsideration filed by their owners.

A moratorium, however, was imposed for the filing of mining applications on the 65 idle mineral lands until such time that the appropriate policy is issued by the DENR.

The 65 permits were cancelled in view of certain violations of the provisions of the Mining Act of 1995, its implementing rules and regulations and or terms and conditions of their respective mining permits.

The main criterion for the cancellation was the failure of the mining contractors to undertake mining activities on the ground over a long period of time.

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