The Philippines is the world’s top producer of nickel, but that could change if the country continues to place restrictions on mining companies.
The country’s mining sector has been in turmoil since February, when Regina Lopez, acting Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary, announced plans to close the operations of over half the 41 mining companies in the country. Lopez, a former environmental activist, also suspended work at several mines, and soon after canceled 75 contracts to develop new mines.
Last week, Lopez again made waves, this time by promising to issue an order banning open-pit mines. She said it would take effect immediately, but noted that it would not apply to existing mines. Currently there are 14 open-pit mines in the country, 10 of which are abandoned.