MANILA Aug 8 (Reuters) – The Philippines has suspended the operations of the country’s only iron ore miner due to environmental infractions, officials said on Monday, bringing to eight the number of mineral producers halted in a government crackdown.
The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s top nickel ore supplier, began an audit of all its metallic mines on July 8, shaking global nickel markets as seven nickel miners were suspended for causing environmental harm.
Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp, which runs an iron ore mine in Bulacan province, north of the capital Manila, was suspended after an investigation showed it polluted a river, Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Leo Jasareno told reporters.
“We’re stopping the whole operation,” said Jasareno, adding that ore transport permits have been withdrawn. The company produced 40,000 tonnes of iron ore last year, said Jasareno.
An official from privately owned Ore Asia Mining’s legal department told Reuters by phone that the company has yet to receive the suspension order.
While the Southeast Asian nation is a small iron ore producer, it is the biggest supplier of nickel ore to No. 1 consumer China.
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