Hapi-hapi uli! Find out the 15 mining firms closed by Lopez and reopened by Cimatu

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It’s business as usual for all of Caraga Region’s 15 mining companies whose operations were earlier suspended and even closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This came after all the erring mining firms “exhausted all legal remedies” to be allowed to operate while their respective appeals have remained pending, said Roger A. De Dios, regional director of Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau-Caraga (MGB-Caraga).

Former DENR secretary Regina Lopez had suspended the 15 mining companies in Caraga mainly for siltation of water bodies around their mines and for allegedly destroying watersheds. Seven of the suspended firms operate in Dinagat Islands, four in Surigao del Norte and three in Surigao del Sur.

“They have filed an appeal and motion for reconsideration so all of them have been allowed to operate in the meantime,” Director De Dios said during the opening of the 4th Caraga Mining Symposium and Safety Competition Friday (Oct. 6).

The 15 suspended mining firms allowed to operate after an eight-month suspension are:

* Dinagat Islands—a mineral reservation area since 1939

1) AAMPhil Natural Resources Exploration

2) Kromico Inc.

3) Libjo Mining Corp.

4) Oriental Synergy Mining Corp.

5) Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp.

6) SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp.

7) Wellex Mining Corp..

* Surigao del Norte:

8) ADNAMA Mining Resources Corp.

9) Claver Mineral Development Corp.

10) Platinum Group Metals Corp.

11) Hinatuan Mining Corp.

12) Claver Mineral Development Corp.

* Surigao del Sur

13) CTP Construction and Mining Corp.

14) Carrascal Nickel Corp.

15) and Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.

In addition, MGB-Caraga suspended early this year Century Peak Corporation (CPC) for failing to implement social development projects and for environmental violations.

Lopez who was rejected by the Commission on Appointment (CA) in May 3, 2017, was replaced by former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Roy Cimatu who got the confirmation before the CA on Wednesday.

Lopez’s suspension and closure orders were strongly opposed by mining firms, local government units and community residents, citing lack of legal basis and due process. They also cited the 20,500 mining workers who would have been displaced had the suspension order came through.

Pro-environment group Caraga Watch has urged MGB and DENR to implement Lopez’s orders.

“MGB and DENR’s response on the sanctions imposed earlier only proves how inutile and bankrupt our mining law and policies are,” said Rev. Pio Mercado, Caraga Watch chairperson.

Rev. Mercado has called on Cimatu to implement his predecessor’s suspension and closure orders “and pave way for the rehabilitation of our damaged mining areas.” (PNA)