Group Seeks Permanent Closure of Mining Operation

Manila Bulletin, September 29, 2009 | Go to article overview

Group Seeks Permanent Closure of Mining Operation


A cause-oriented group urged the government to permanently close down a large-scale mining project in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces which has not been in operation since 2008, “losing its legal eligibility to carry out its obligations under its Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) with the government.”The Didipio Mining Project for gold and copper operated by Australian mining firm OceanaGold ceased operations in mid-2008 due to “lack in financial, technical, and managerial abilities,” the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) said.In a letter dated Sept. 23, the LRC, a legal and policy research and advocacy institution, urged Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose Atienza Jr. to close down the mining project and revoke the FTAA issued to the mining firm.According to LRC executive director Judy Pasimio, Atienza assured them in January that the DENR would takeover OceanaGold’s facility once the company failed to renew operations in six months.“It is already way beyond the deadline given by Secretary Atienza. It’s already September and yet we haven’t heard any action from the DENR,” Pasimio said.Pasimio said that under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, FTAA holders must have the financial, technical, and managerial abilities to carry out mineral exploration and utilization on a large-scale mining operation. …

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