Gov’t won’t lift ban on open-pit mining – by Madelaine B. Miraflor (Manila Bulletin – June 8, 2018)

t is now the job of mining companies to look for an alternative to open-pit mining method as ordered by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu — who, for the nth time, said the government is not keen to lift the ban on the destructive method.

“We have to reinvent mining in the Philippines or we will shut you down by the end of the year,” Cimatu told mining companies during the Philippine Mining Club Luncheon in Makati yesterday.

During the meeting, Cimatu said miners should prepare for a scenario where there is no longer open-pit mining in the country. “We will discuss what will be the alternative to this mining method,” Cimatu said.

“I’m asking you to form a working group to find out what’s the alternative to open-pit mining and you should be prepared to present this,” he added.

Before flying to China in April, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would extend the ban on open-pit mine if mining firms will fail to conduct progressive rehabilitation and plant trees. To recall, it was former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez who placed the ban on the use of the open-pit mining method for the extraction of copper, gold, silver and complex ores in the country.

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