DENR to allow expansion of mine areas

(The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is allowing operating mines to expand their contract areas provided that these have viable economic reserves.

The DENR, through the recommendation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has issued Administrative Order (AO) 2014-06 which states that the expansion of areas of existing mines with viable economic deposits would be allowed subject to validation by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) through its Technical Working Group on Environmental Protection of which the MGB is part of.

Applications for expansion would also be subjected to certain conditions.

MGB director Leo Jasareno said the new order was issued in consideration of a number of operating mines in the country that need to expand in existing contract areas to sustain operations.

As such, operations of existing mines with dwindling resources could be expanded provided that the expansion area applied for is adjacent to the contract area or is situated within the immediate vicinity or a municipality.

Jasareno said a declaration of mining project pre-feasibility (DMPF) should be submitted for the expansion areas to prove the economic viability of deposits.

The new regulation applies to existing contract areas covered by mineral production and sharing agreements (MPSA), as well as Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA).

As the new mining policy bans the issuance of new mining contracts pending the legislation of a new taxation scheme for the extractive industry, the new mining areas would be considered an expansion of the existing MPSA and FTAA areas.

While allowing expansion of existing contract areas, the MGB would still observe the area limitation of a maximum of 8,000 hectares per mining company in the province it is operating in and a maximum of 16,000 hectares nationwide. 

 “This is the government’s way of protecting investments. We want to make sure that responsible mining companies will have continuity in their operations,” he said in a phone interview.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER AREAS DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION EXISTING FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS LEO JASARENO MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU MINING MINING INDUSTRY COORDINATING COUNCIL TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP
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