MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would soon halt mining in the Southeast Asian nation because of the environmental damage it has caused, renewing his threat made nearly two years ago to shut down the industry completely.
Mining has been a contentious issue in the Philippines, the world’s No. 2 nickel ore supplier after Indonesia, due to cases of environmental mismanagement.
“I will decide one of these days, I will end mining,” Duterte told a public event in central Philippines, after citing destruction caused by mineral extraction. “It is a very destructive activity though you would call it economic activity.”
Duterte to mining firms in August 2016, about a month after assuming office, to follow tighter environmental rules or to shut down, saying the nation could survive without a mining industry.
The fiery leader has often criticized the mining industry since then but had not issued renewed threats to shut the industry for good until Monday.
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