MANILA, June 21 (Reuters) - Twenty-three of 27 Philippine mines assessed by a government panel for compliance with state regulations, including environmental laws, have passed the review, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters on Thursday.
The Mining Industry Coordinating Council reviewed all 27 mines that former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez ordered closed or suspended last year for environmental breaches. Lopez has since stepped down.
The Philippines is the second biggest nickel ore supplier to top market China.
All the mines were rated based on a number of criteria including legal, technical, economic, social and environmental compliance, said the source, who declined to be identified as the decision is not yet public.
“Based on the rating, four failed to get a ‘passing’ mark,” the source said, without naming the mines.
The findings are subject to a final decision by President Rodrigo Duterte and the environment ministry, the source added. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. Editing by Joseph Radford)