Philippines mines face suspension over environmental breaches

More mines in the Philippines are facing suspension for breaching environmental regulations after a seven-week long review by the government.

The country, one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, began reviewing 40 metallic mines in July, with 10 being suspended.

Eight of those produced nickel ore.

The suspensions, as well as the risk of more closures, increased the price of nickel to a one month high in August, according to Reuters.

Regina Lopez, Environment and Natural Resources secretary said “there will absolutely be more suspensions”, adding, “All the suspensions are absolutely due to environmental reasons, and my particular interest is the wellbeing of the community, that’s my benchmark.”

Lopez went on to say they have established an area development program amid the suspensions.

These suspensions come after Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte cracked down on mining if resources companies did not follow governmental guidelines.

He said the country was willing to forego rent royalties under US$1 billion if the new government mandates were not upheld.

“Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down,” he said.