UPDATE 1-Philippines suspends seventh nickel miner in environmental crackdown – by Manolo Serapio Jr and Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – August 4, 2016)


MANILA, Aug 4 – The Philippine government has suspended the operations of a seventh nickel miner, Claver Mineral Development Corp, a minister said on Thursday, deepening an environmental crackdown that has caused jitters in global nickel markets.

The Philippines is the biggest supplier of nickel ore to top market China and the suspension of some mines and the risk of more closures sent global nickel prices to an 11-month high of $10,900 a tonne on July 21.

“Today we are suspending Claver Mineral. We will audit all the mine sites of Mindanao,” Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez said, referring to the nickel-rich southern Philippine island. Claver runs a mine in the Surigao del Norte province in Mindanao.

Lopez made the announcement during a mining forum in southern Davao City, but did not immediately say what prompted the suspension.

The government has now suspended seven miners, all of them nickel producers, amid an ongoing audit that began on July 8 that aims to check whether companies are complying with regulations to protect the environment where they’re operating.

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