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Environment

Factbox: Philippines recommends suspending 20 more mines after audit

MANILA (Reuters) - Thirty mines in the Philippines, including 18 nickel producers, have either been suspended or recommended for suspension for environmental violations in an unprecedented crackdown that has shaken the industry and the global nickel market.

The Southeast Asian country, the world’s top supplier of nickel ore, on Tuesday recommended that 20 more mines be suspended until the operators address lapses. The government has given them seven days to explain any violations of mining and environmental laws.

Earlier this year, the government suspended 10 mines, eight of them nickel, for environmental infractions as part of an audit that began on July 8 and was completed in August. The Philippines has 41 mines with others producing copper and gold.

Following is the list of those recommended for suspension and some of the findings of the audit team:

1. Libjo Mining Corp - non-compliance with rule on appropriate slope and height of benches and the Clean Air Act. A bench is a narrow, strip of land cut into the side of an open-pit mine.

2. AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration and Development Corp (Parcel 1) - non-compliance with the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

3. AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration and Development Corp (Parcel 2B) - violation of certain conditions of its environment compliance certificate.

4. Krominco Inc - mining violation

5. Carrascal Nickel Corp - discoloration of the shoreline fronting the causeway caused by the spillage of ore during loading.

6. Marcventures Mining and Development Corp - failure to plant 3 million seedlings as penalty for mining violation and has no valid discharge permit for silt-ponds and oil and water separator.

7. Filminera Resources Corp/Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp - operating without an approved 3-year Development/Utilization Work Program.

8. Strongbuilt Mining Development Corp - violated certain provisions of mining and environmental laws.

9. Sinosteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp - several violations including failure to secure tree-cutting permit and violated certain terms and conditions of mineral processing and sharing agreement with the government.

10. Oriental Synergy Mining Corp - several violations including failure to secure tree-cutting permit, has no approved survey plan and did not comply with a condition under its environmental clearance certificate.

11. Wellex Mining Corp - has no ISO 14001 certification. The ISO 14001 is a global environmental management standard.

12. Century Peak Corp (Rapid City Nickel Project) - no mitigating measure for soil erosion, siltation, dust emission, and no tree-cutting and water permits.

Century Peak Corp (Casiguran Nickel Project) - no mitigating measure for soil erosion, siltation, dust emission, and no tree-cutting and water permits.

13. Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp - siltation, no tree-cutting and water permits and with dust emission.

14. CTP Construction and Mining Corp - violated certain conditions of its environment clearance certificate.

15. Agata Mining Ventures Inc, partly owned by TVI Pacific Inc - no ISO 14001 certification.

16. Hinatuan Mining Corp, partly owned by Nickel Asia Corp - violated certain conditions in its environmental clearance certificate.

17. Benguet Corp - has two inactive tailings storage facilities that have not been rehabilitated and an abandoned open pit.

18. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co - has unregistered treatment, storage and disposal facility for the detoxification process for the mill tailings.

19. OceanaGold Philippines Inc, unit of OceanaGold Corp - beset with social issues such as a petition by Nueva Vizcaya province seeking to cancel the company’s mining permit; damages to houses allegedly caused by blasting; perceived dangers of underground mining; and preference of the province for agriculture and agro-forest over mining.

20. Adnama Mining Resources Inc - non-compliance with the ISO 14001 requirement and siltation of coastal water due to heavily damaged and improperly maintained causeway.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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