The Philippines has suspended a seventh nickel ore mine and threatened to shut the nation’s biggest coal producer amid an environmental probe ordered by the new government that’s due to finish next week.
Emir Mineral Resources of Eastern Samar province in central Philippines, which produced about 150 000 metric tons of nickel ore last year, has had its permit suspended, environment and natural resources secretary Gina Lopez said in a televised briefing in Manila on Thursday. A chromite miner in the province, Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development, has also been halted, she said.
Lopez announced a nationwide audit of miners upon taking office in early July, pledging to close those that fail international standards. The six nickel mines shuttered earlier had production amounting to about 8% of last year’s output of 32.5 million tons, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, part of Lopez’s department.
Of the six, just one has been in operation this year, while the others had either been subject to earlier suspensions or were running down stockpiles, according to the bureau. Another iron ore miner has also been shuttered as part of Lopez’s probe.