MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Philippines DENR Suspends Mine Exploration Operations - October 17 2001

Published by MAC on 2001-10-17


Philippines DENR Suspends Mine Exploration Operations - October 17 2001

By Donna G. Brazas - Manila Times

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources yesterday ordered the suspension of exploration activities of an Australian gold and copper mining company in Nueva Vizcaya after it discovered that the project is not socially acceptable.

Environment Secretary Heherson Alvarez earlier suspended the financial and technical assistance agreement of Climax-Arimco Mining Corp., the first mining firm granted an FTAA since Republic Act 7942, or the Mining Act, was enacted in 1995.

"CAMC will have to stop any exploration in the area covered by the FTAA until such time that issues raised against it are resolved and that a favorable endorsement of the project is secured from concerned local government units," he said.

The FTAA allows CAMC to explore mineral resources in some 37,000 hectares covering the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

Alvarez said the project is not socially acceptable and is located inside the Addalam River Watershed, which he cited as grounds for the suspension.

The project is facing stiff opposition from residents and some
non-government organizations.

Aside from being rejected by the National Economic Development Authority regional development council, the project's memorandum of agreement might also encounter a recall.

The Commission on Elections has yet to resolve a petition filed by
residents of Barangay Didipio, Bayombong town, seeking a plebiscite on the barangay initiative denying the MOA entered into by CAMC and barangay officials.

Alvarez said the project proponent failed to secure the necessary
endorsements from concerned local government units.

In July last year, Alvarez revoked the mineral production and sharing
agreement (MPSA) of the Canadian Aglubang Mining Corp. covering a 2,290 hectare area in Victoria town, Oriental Mindoro, for the operation of a controversial nickel mining project.

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