IBA, Zambales: Newly installed Gov. Amor Deloso on Thursday issued a mining moratorium in the entire province, vowing to stop the environmental destruction resulting from said operations.
Deloso signed his first Executive Order suspending all mining operations in the province following his inaugural speech and mass oath-taking of elected provincial and municipal leaders here.
Effective immediately all mining operations in the province, particularly in Santa Cruz, Candelaria and Masinloc towns, must stop.
The governor pointed out that mining operations in Zambales have continued for decades and now that the environment has suffered so much “today I will put an end to that.”
“Acoje Mines for 75 years has been mining chromite in Santa Cruz (town) and for 50 years Coto Mines has been mining gold in Masinloc,” he said, adding that nobody in the province became rich because of mining, which instead brought too much destruction of the environment.
Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz (CCOS), an anti-mining group, has been fighting to stop the mining operations since 2011. Four mining firms – BenguetCorp Nickel Mines, Inc. (BNMI), LnL Archipelago Mining Corp. (LAMI), Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC), and Eramen Minerals, Inc. (EMI) – are operating in Santa Cruz and Candelaria.
Last month, the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan against the four mining firms, including Shangfil Mining and Trading Corp (SMTC) and ordered the Court of Appeals to conduct hearings to determine if a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) should be issued.
Members of CCOS on Wednesday told The Manila Times that the mining firms continue their operations despite the writ issued by the High Court.
BNMI refused to comment on the writ of Kalikasan and Deloso’s issuance of a moratorium on mining, saying they have already released an official statement regarding the writ.
EMI administrative officer Lawrence Medua also told members of the media they have no authority to grant interviews, saying he believes their lawyers in Manila will handle the matter.
A ZDMC representative also refused to talk, being not authorized to do so.