IN THE wake of the closure of 23 and the suspension of 5 other mining firms all over the country, Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) president Louie Sarmiento said the pronouncements of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez needs a full disclosure.
“In the spirit of transparency and due process, the PMSEA exhorts the DENR to release the results of the mining audit to clear any doubts and air of suspicions,” Sarmiento said.
Suspended mines are Benguet Corporation, Ore Asia Mining and Development Corporation, BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Incorporated, Eramen Minerals Incorporated, LNL Archipelago Minerals Incorporated, Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation, Mt Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corporation, Emir Minerals Corporation, TechIron Mineral Resources Incorporated, AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Oriental Synergy Mining Corporation, SinoSteel Philippines HY Mining Corporation, Kromico, Incorporated, Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation, Wellex Mining Corporation, Libjo Mining Corporation, Surigao del Norte, ADNAMA Mining Resources Corporation, Claver Mineral Development Corporation, Hinatuan Mining Corporation, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, Carrascal Nickel Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation, Platinum Group Metals Corporation
Lopez also announced the suspension of Berong Nickel Corporation, OceanaGold Phils Incorporated, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation, Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Strong Built Mining Development Corporation.
“The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association remains firm in its commitment for responsible mining notwithstanding the February 2 announcement, however, it appears that full details of the results of the Mining Audit have yet to furnished to the concerned companies,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento added the closures and suspensions, if affirmed, will have far reaching effect especially in mining communities that plays host to these mines - employees and their dependents, contractors, and mine-dependent small businesses will be the biggest losers.
Mining contributions in the region proved to be least among economic drivers in the region with a National Economic and Development Authority report a little over 1% contribution in the Cordilleras for 2015.
NEDA disclosed the sector has failed to be an economic driver for the region for the past years citing the industry does not likewise impact employment as a whole.
There are three major mining companies in the region namely Philex Mining Corporation, Benguet Corporation and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation all in the Benguet province seen to be sources of employment, livelihood and income for host communities and the province.
The DENR – Mines and Geosciences Bureau data reveal mining production for 2015 amounted to 11.2 billion and employed 6,974 from the industry.
A factor in the seeming drop in the bucket contribution of the mines is the non registration of the small scale mining (SSM) sector which remains to operate illegally.
Contributions for employment, revenue as well as tax from the SSM industry are not recorded nor monitored.