Aquino OKs Revised Mining Regulations

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President Benigno S. Aquino III Aquino has finally approved the revised set of rules and regulations to implement the country's new mining policy.

Presidential Communications Development Secretary Ramon Carandang said three provisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order 79 were revised to address the concerns raised by the mining stakeholders.

Carandang said revised in the IRR were Section 3 on the renewal of mining contracts; Section 7 on grant on mineral agreements pending legislation; and Section 9 on the opening of mining areas through bidding.

"President Aquino has approved the revised IRR (on EO 79)," Carandang said. Carandang, however, said Section 7 of EO 79 concerning the expansion of mining area for cement companies would still be "reworded" upon orders of the President.

"The cement companies were concerned that they might not be allowed to expand the area where they're quarrying and we wanted to make an exception in that particular area. So in fact what we're saying is in cases where an inability to expand their area could potentially cause economic dislocation, then we would allow the area to be extended," he said.

Under the revised IRR, the provisions would read as follows:

"Section 3. Definition of Terms - Expired mining tenements refer to mining contract/agreements whose 25- or 50-year term has lapsed: Provided, that in the case of the initial 25-year term, the mining contract/agreement shall be considered expired if the parties concerned fail to agree on the terms of the renewal pursuant to Sections 32 and 38 of R. …