Four nickel miners in Zambales suspended for failing evaluation

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The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has suspended the operations of four mining companies in Zambales Province due to their unsystematic extraction of nickel ores.

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In separate letters dated July 15, Regional Director Danilo Uykieng, officer in charge of MGB-Region 3, ordered the suspension of the four mining companies—Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., and Lnl Archipelago Minerals Inc.—after they failed to pass a regulatory evaluation of their operations.

The indefinite suspension stems from an earlier show cause order requiring the companies to defend their unsystematic mining or stripping methods in their respective mining areas.

Uykieng said that the suspension covers all extraction of nickel ores and future expansions of mining areas.

The suspension of mining operations will remain in force until such time that the nickel miners are able to employ a systematic mining method with defined benches and cleaning/removing of all stand-by stockpiles within the open cut areas.

The MGB also required the companies to have designated stockpile areas that are equipped with a proper drainage system in line with the conditions of their environmental compliance certificates.

The government regulator also ordered the firms to employ proper care and maintenance measures for the duration of the suspension – including the continuous implementation of all environmental protection and enhancement programs.

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