Twenty-three mining operations, not 21, were actually ordered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to close shop, the DENR chief consultant said on Wednesday.
Based on the list distributed by the staff of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez to reporters during a press conference on last Thursday, only 21 companies were supposedly given the closure order.
"Hindi ko alam saan galing 'yung 21, pero ang talagang correct number is 23 na closure and five na suspension tapos one deferred and 'yung rest ay pasado," DENR consultant Leo Jasareno told GMA News Online.
However, the DENR posted on its Twitter page the final and updated list late late Thursday.
Jasareno speculated that the companies on the initial report may have been confused by the changes Lopez made to come up with a final list.
Below is the final recommendations approved by the Cabinet official:
No decision yet
- Filminera Resources Corp.
- Berong Nickel Corp.
- Citinickel Mines and Development Corp.
- Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp.
- OceanaGold Phils.
- Strong Built Mining Development Corporation
Ordered to close down
- Benguet Corporation
- Ore Asia Mining and Development Corporation
- BenguetCorp Nickel Mines, Inc.
- Eramen Minerals Inc.
- Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.
- LNL Archipelago Minerals, Inc.
- Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp.
- Emir Minerals Corp.
- TechIron Mineral Resources, Inc.
- AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration
- Krominco, Inc.
- SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp.
- Oriental Synergy Mining Corp.
- Wellex Mining Corp.
- Libjo Mining Corp.
- Oriental Vision Mining Phils. Corp.
- ADNAMA Mining Resources Corp.
- Claver Mineral Development Corp.
- Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC)
- CTP Construction and Mining Corp
- Carrascal Nickel Corp.
- Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.
- Hinatuan Mining Corp.
On the final list, Benguet Corp. was included among the companies that were ordered to close down and Ore Asia Mining, which first appeared on the list of suspended miners, was moved to the closure list.
The number of companies that passed the audit was unchanged at 12:
- Philex Mining Corp.
- Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp.
- Carmen Copper Corp.
- Cagdianao Mining Corp.
- Taganito Mining Corp.
- Greenstone Resources Corp.
- Philsaga Mining Corp.
- Apex Mining Co. Inc.
- Pacific Nickel Philippines Inc.
- Agata Mining Ventures Inc.
- Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp.
- SR Metals Inc.
'We are as confused'
Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Vice President for Legal and Policy Ronald Recidoro noted the group was also bewildered such changed. "We are as confused as you are," he said.
The last-minute changes cast more doubts on the credibility of the audit results than shedding light on the matter, Recidoro claimed.
"Their inability to produce the basic findings versus the mines lends credence to the idea that this whole audit thing is just a 'moro-moro' by Ms. Lopez to justify closing all large-scale mines, which is what she wanted to do all along, evidence be damned," the COMP official alleged.
"We're also wondering as to what her basis for her list is. She has yet to release the audit findings or the technical review committee report," he added.
COMP on Tuesday urged the DENR chief to publish the audit results that led to the closure and suspension of large-scale miners.
"They can get whatever they want. No problem at all, just ask for it, go to the office," Lopez told Reuters.
The Lopez principle
Jasareno also revealed that TechIron originally passed the audit but was included on the list miners that were ordered to shut down, based on the principle espoused by the DENR chief that no mining operation must be allowed in a watershed.
"Tatlo sila diyan sa Homonhon, pero sa evaluation ng DENR 'yung Homonhon Island ay watershed. So you can't pass just one, or else you also have to pass all the rest as well," he said.
"'Yung PGMC pasado rin 'yan. Pero dahil pumunta si secretary and saw the entire coastline ay brown and serious 'yung siltation, nilipat siya from pasado to 'For Closure'," Jasareno added. — VS, GMA News