Manila, Philippines – OFFICIALS of some of the biggest miners in the country yesterday professed agreement with the next administration’s avowed policy of holding those exploiting the country’s mineral resources more accountable for environmental damage they may cause, but stocks of some of those with Mindanao operations yesterday bared investor jitters.
Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc.; Manila Mining Corp. and Marcventures Holdings, Inc. yesterday saw substantial drops in their stock prices as trading ended after President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte warned companies whose operations threaten the environment — particularly those in mineral-rich Mindanao — to upgrade their practices or face closure.
Stock prices of Global Ferronickel, Manila Mining and Marcventures fell 2.22% to 88 centavos, 7.14% to 1.3 centavos and 4.26% to P1.80 apiece, respectively, even as the bourse’s 17-stock mining and oil sectoral index to which they belong gained 0.13%. All three have mines in Mindanao’s northeastern Caraga region, particularly in Surigao and Agusan provinces.
Mr. Duterte, who hails from Davao City, said on Saturday that miners have to stop practices that destroy the environment and cited Surigao as an example of how a mineral-rich region suffered calamities that environmentalists say were worsened by mining.
At stake is an island that’s estimated to sit on $300 billion worth of mineral deposits, from nickel, copper to gold. Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo L. Jasareno said over radio station dzMM yesterday that roughly half of the country’s 44 metal mines have repeatedly violated environmental statutes.
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