Miners weigh legal options vs gov’t
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said some miners were weighing possible legal options in the event of more mine closures, according to Reuters.
Chamber spokesman Ronald S. Recidoro, however, said that they “rather have the Philippine government appreciate the industry for its merits.”
Six out of 27 nickel mines were suspended in the first weeks of an audit that began on July 8 — representing 8 percent of total output — and the suspension of a seventh was announced on Thursday.
Mining has powerful opponents in the Philippines, including the influential Catholic Church, following public anger over past environmental disasters and the displacement of local communities.
Despite a wealth of untapped resources, a once thriving industry in the 1970s is now dominated by a few local miners, mostly nickel producers, and even fewer foreign players, led by Australian miner OceanaGold Corp. Mining contributed less than 1 percent to the Philippine economy last year, Reuters said.