Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Roy Cimatu will try to meet the country’s 41 metallic mine operators to discuss the Pres. Duterte’s disapproval of open-pit mining operations.
Cimatu said he will make time to meet mining operators to tell them he saw the rehabilitation efforts of some firms. However, he can’t do anything about Duterte’s perception on open-pit mine operations.
Before his departure to China, Duterte said he would extend the ban on open-pit mine if miners will fail to conduct progressive rehabilitation and plant trees.
“I have a lot of things to do but that’s okay. I might talk to them [mining companies] next week. I will call all of them, the 41, even the ones that are compliant,” Cimatu told Manila Bulletin on Wednesday.
The DENR order 2017-10 was imposed by former secretary Regina Lopez. The order prohibits the open-pit mining method for copper, gold, silver, and complex ores.
Cimatu has the power to repeal the order himself, however, he said it’s now up to the President whether he will keep the order or not.
Lopez managed to suspend and close 14 mining companies from the Caraga region.
There are about 26 operating mines in the said region.
The DENR is reviewing the appeals submitted by certain companies regarding the closure and suspension orders.
“Partial” results show several mines will certainly be closed down and suspended, said the chief.