MANILA – An inter-agency Cabinet body said Tuesday majority of its members voted to recommend the lifting of the ban on open pit mining.
The Mining Industry Coordinating Council also agreed that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau should “take a close look and take appropriate action” on the possible expansion of 24 areas covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreements.
Preliminary results of a “fact-finding and science-based” review of the first batch of 26 mines ordered closed or suspended by the previous environment department leadership will be out by January, the MICC said. A final report is expected in March.
Former environment secretary Gina Lopez, who ordered the open-pit ban, had urged Cimatu on Monday to keep it in place.
“Iyung open pit lahat sila malapit sa ilog, malapit sa streams, all of them will be there forever. Sino magaalaga nyan? Hanggang ngayon wala pa silang nakita na open pit na narehabilitate,” Lopez told DZMM.
(Open pits are near rivers, near streams, all of them will be there forever. Who will take care of that? Up to now, they have not shown an open pit that has been rehabilitated.)