MANILA – The Philippines will cancel the environmental permit of a nickel miner that began operations this year, a minister said, as the government intensifies a campaign to punish mineral producers harming natural resources.
The Southeast Asian country is the world’s top nickel ore supplier and an environmental crackdown that has halted a quarter of its 41 mines, and the risk that 20 more maybe shuttered has spurred a rally in global nickel prices.
But the nickel mine now threatened with a shutdown, in southern Davao Oriental province and run by private-owned Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp, was not among those suspended or recommended for suspension.
The issue with the mine is it sits between Mount Hamiguitan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Pujada Bay, a marine protected area, said Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez who calls its approval “madness”.
“The ECC (environmental compliance certificate) was reviewed and as far as I know it will be canceled,” Lopez told Reuters. The ECC “should have never been given,” she said.
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