Philippines Suspends Operations of Two Nickel Mines

   By Cris Larano 
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MANILA–The Philippine government said Friday it suspended the operations of two nickel mines in Zambales, a province north of Manila, pending its compliance with certain environmental requirements.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau suspended indefinitely the operation of BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., a subsidiary of listed Benguet Corp. (BC.PH), and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

MGB Director Leo Jasareno said the two companies are considered large-scale nickel miners because they produce more than 50,000 metric tons a year. He said their outputs are mainly exported to China.

The suspension order stems from a Supreme Court order requiring mining companies operating in Zambales province to prove they aren’t harming the environment. The case was filed by residents of Santa Cruz town in Zambales.

The MGB said the suspension order will be lifted only after the companies comply with certain requirements, including building an exclusive road for mine hauls, repair of damaged roads, rehabilitation of damaged farmland and fishponds as well as the compensation of their owners.

Write to Cris Larano at cris.larano[a]

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