MANILA (Reuters) – Twenty-three of 27 Philippine mines assessed by a government panel for compliance with state regulations, including environmental laws, have passed the review, an official said on Thursday.
Confirming an earlier Reuters report, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council found that four mines did not meet the criteria set by the government.
The panel reviewed the 27 mines in the world’s No. 2 nickel ore supplier that former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez ordered closed or suspended last year for environmental breaches. Lopez has since stepped down.
“Four out of 27 failed to meet the criteria,” Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin told a media briefing.
He said of the four mines that failed the review, three are nickel producers and one is chromite.
Agabin said the findings are still subject to changes and that the panel’s report will be submitted to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte and the environment ministry.
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Tom Hogue)