Philippines to suspend 20 more mines, boosting nickel price – by Enrico Dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio Jr (Reuters U.S. – September 27, 2016)

MANILA – The Philippines has ordered the suspension of 20 more mines for environmental violations, as the world’s top supplier of nickel ore vowed to pursue stricter standards than in global mining centers such as Canada and Australia.

Most of the mines were nickel producers and the news sent global prices up more than 1 percent on Tuesday, helping the metal recover from earlier losses amid worries over disruption of supply to the important Chinese market.

President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that the Philippines could survive without a mining industry and 10 mines have already been shuttered as part of an audit completed last month.”I am not against mining but I am definitely against the adverse effects that may happen, that are happening in some of the situations,” Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez told a briefing.

If the additional mines recommended for suspension are halted, it would bring to 30 the number closed, 18 of them nickel producers that account for 55.5 percent of the country’s total nickel ore output based on last year’s production.

Each miner would be handed the audit report and given seven days “to explain their violations”, Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Leo Jasareno said.

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