Sept. 29, 2017: SolGen green lights legislative franchises for mining firms

Sept. 29, 2017: SolGen green lights legislative franchises for mining firms
 

MANILA, Philippines – The House leadership’s push to eventually require legislative franchises for mining firms is one step closer to reality after the Office of the Solicitor General affirmed Congress’ power to do so.

Solicitor General Jose Calida, in his legal opinion filed before the committees on natural resources and legal franchises, said Congress’ power to grant franchises comes from the State’s police power. (READ: Congressional franchises for casinos, mining ‘reeks of vested interest’)

“Likewise there is also no constitutional prohibition for the authority of Congress to require franchise, only a limitation or requirement as in the citizenship requirement imposed on Public Utility under Article 12, Section 11 of the Constitution,” said Calida, as quoted in a press release from the House of Representatives.

“There is no doubt that franchises are granted by Congress as a form of regulatory framework,” added the government’s top lawyer.

Sept. 28, 2017: Scholarships offered to boost mining industry

Sept. 28, 2017: Scholarships offered to boost mining industry
 

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Scholarships are being offered by Australian OceanGold miner under its Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG) program for residents of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.

Application forms must be filed before October 15, 2017.

For mining-related courses such as mining engineering, metallurgical engineering and geology, each scholar is given P25,000 for tuition and miscellaneous fees; P10,000 book allowance and P10,000 monthly stipend per
semester.

While scholars for non-mining engineering courses – agricultural, civil, geodetic, chemical, electrical, materials, mechanical, and sanitary, as well as environmental science, forestry and agriculture – will receive P25,000 for tuition and miscellaneous fees, P10,000 book allowance and P8,000 monthly stipend.

Sept 28, 2017: Filipinos vow to fight mining permit renewal on protected isle – ucanews.com

Sept 28, 2017: Filipinos vow to fight mining permit renewal on protected isle – ucanews.com

Church officials and anti-mining advocates are fighting the renewal of a suspended mining company’s permit to operate on a protected central Philippines island, despite the mine supposedly having the backing of local communities.

Father Juderick Paul Calumpiano, social action director of Borongan Diocese, called on the national Mines and Geosciences Bureau to respect a provincial law that bans large-scale mining in Eastern Samar and an environmental law regulating activities in protected areas.

The mineral production sharing agreement of Hinatuan Mining Corporation with the government expires on Oct. 28.

Sept. 25, 2017: DENR official under fire for illegal quarrying

Sept. 25, 2017: DENR official under fire for illegal quarrying
 

LUCENA CITY, Quezon: The chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management (DENR-EMB) here is facing a complaint for allegedly illegal mining and quarrying.

The complaint was filed recently by Dominador Villanueva, chief of the National Bureau of Investigation-Lucena District Office (NBI-Lucdo), before the Ombudsman for Luzon against Noemi Paranada, DENR-EMB chief of Region 4A.

Villanueva included in his complaint several individuals, among them Paranada’s driver Rogelio Yadao, alleged bagman Norman Sumadsad and certain quarry operators in Sariaya town including Loreto and Lanie Pasumbal, Renates Pasumbal, Donnalene Jane Atienza, Allen Atienza Sr. and Dawn Atienza.

In the complaint submitted to the Ombudsman on September 15, he charged Paranada and the others with violations of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), the Code of Ethics for Government Officials and Employees, direct bribery and corruption of public officials, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1995.

Sept. 25, 2017: Is there life after mining? | BusinessMirror

Sept. 25, 2017: Is there life after mining? | BusinessMirror
 

‘I am especially fond of gardening, taking care of plants at home,” said Melita Cuaton, a 44-year-old mother of six from Sitio Campandan, Barangay Talavera, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte.

At home, she would water the plants every day, to make sure they survive. At work, she basically does the same thing—only a little bit challenging.

An environmental aide, Cuaton would make her rounds to pick up dried leaves or branches, pick up litters, water trees when the soil is too dry and when the leaves are starting to wilt to make sure the trees will not die.

For that, she earns a basic pay of P260 and an allowance of P380 a day.

Sept. 23, 2017: MICC to convene next week to discuss open-pit mine ban study

Sept. 23, 2017: MICC to convene next week to discuss open-pit mine ban study
 

Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is set to convene next week to discuss the study being conducted by its technical working  group (TWG) on the possible lifting of open-pit mine ban that was put in place by former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Assistant Director Danilo Uykieng said in an interview that the TWG of MICC will have a meeting next week to particularly talk about the open-pit mine ban.

This, according to him, will be followed by another meeting in October wherein MGB will present to MICC the petitions made by some mining companies against the said ban.

According to MGB, some of the companies who formally made their appeal against the ban include Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc, Philex Mining Corp., Filminera Resources, Corp., Sagittarius Mines, Inc., and Kingking Mining Corp

Sept. 22, 2017: Red 5 warns of further impairments

Sept. 22, 2017: Red 5 warns of further impairments

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Red 5 has warned of a noncash impairment of between A$28-million and A$30-million on the carrying value of its Siana goldproject, in the Philippines.

The impairment charge, expected to be recorded in the June year-end, will be in addition to the A$70.4-million expense recorded in the half-year ended December.

Red 5 said on Thursday that the impairment charges related to the suspension of mining operations at the Siana mine in April, as well as an increased weighted average cost of capital discount rate, considering the increased sovereign risk for mining in the Philippines.

The decision to suspend mining operations at Siana was taken on the back of uncertainty around regulatory and government mining policy and the group’s assessment of the likely resulting changes to openpit operations after taking into account the delays in the approval of the environmentalcompliance certificate amendment for the long-term tailings storage facility, and other mining challenges.

Sept. 22, 2017: Philippines delays environment minister nomination approval over mining woes | MINING.com

Sept. 22, 2017: Philippines delays environment minister nomination approval over mining woes | MINING.com
 

On Wednesday, Philippine lawmakers deferred their expected appointment confirmation of the country’s environment and natural resources minister Roy Cimatu amid pressures from pro-mining groups hurt by policies put in place by the previous secretary and which he has vowed to keep in place.

Former minister Lopez had to leave the post after the same legislative panel that delayed Cimatu’s confirmation rejected her appointment.Cimatu, a former general who replaced ousted ecologist Regina Lopez in May, has said he would review all evidence brought forward by mining companies before deciding whether to keep, modify, or reverse his predecessor’s orders.

He has also said he is in no rush to revoke one of Lopez’s most contested rules — a ban on open pit mining imposed in April as part of an anti-pollution crackdown. The prohibition only affects projects, not mines currently in operations. However, its continuity threatens major planned mines including Philex Mining’s $2bn Silangan copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte, and Sagittarius Mines’s $5.9bn Tampakan gold-copper project in South Cotabato, which has the potential to become the Philippines’ biggest foreign investment.

Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine lawmakers defer decision on appointment of environment minister

Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine lawmakers defer decision on appointment of environment minister
 

MANILA, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Philippine lawmakers on Wednesday said they would hold more hearings before deciding whether to confirm the appointment of the country’s environment minister, although some said they were likely to approve the step.

The confirmation of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu is being closely watched given the policy implications for the mining sector in the world’s top nickel ore supplier.

Cimatu, a former soldier, replaced staunch environmentalist Regina Lopez who was rejected by the same legislative panel in May after less than a year in office. All ministerial appointments in the country go through a similar process.

Sept. 21, 2017: CA defers confirmation of DENR chief Roy Cimatu

Sept. 21, 2017: CA defers confirmation of DENR chief Roy Cimatu
 

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, September 20, deferred the confirmation of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, vice chairman of the CA committee on environment and natural resources, moved to suspend Wednesday’s hearing after lawmakers questioned Cimatu for almost two hours.

“I understand there are some members of the Commission who would like to clarify certain issues and manifest some concerns regarding our work at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.‬ This is the way democracy works. I welcome the opportunity to clear things,” Cimatu said in a statement after the CA panel deferred his confirmation.