DENR chief Lopez: 4 mining firms suspended

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina "Gina" Lopez on Friday revealed that the government has suspended four mining companies for violating environmental safety standards.

Lopez said that BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. and Eramen Minerals Inc. have been suspended in accordance to the Writ of Kalikasan issued by the Supreme Court.

The new Department of ?Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) chief noted that the suspended mining firms have received complaints of environmental degradation, usurpation of farmland, fish ponds and coastal areas, denudation of forests and lack of funds for progressive rehabilitation.

"They need to get their act together," Lopez said in an interview with ANC's Market Edge.

Lopez stressed that responsible mining follows the principle of sustainable development.

"It meets the need of the present (generation) without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs with the view of improving quality of life both now and in the future," Lopez said.

The DENR chief said that more mining companies might be suspended in the future after the agency finishes its audit.

Lopez added that the agency's auditing team consists of agriculturists and fishery experts.

"That's what responsible mining is all about," Lopez said.

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