Illustrative photo (Source: internet)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippines on July 7 ordered the suspension of operations at two nickel ore mines in the northeast province of Zambales for environmental violations and also halted the issuance of mining permits.

The two nickel mines, operated by BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp, was complained to cause environmental degradation, said Leo Jasareno, Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The decision will be in effect until the companies comply with conditions set by the agency, he added.

Meanwhile, Mining Minister Regina Lopez said there will be a ban on fresh mining activities in the country for a month while a review of all existing mines is underway.

The move could curb nickel ore shipments from the Southeast Asian country and push up global prices further.

Previously, the news on the Philippine government making review of all mining operations in the country lifted the price of nickel by 8 percent in two days. It hit an eight-month high of 10.410 USD a tonne.

The Philippines has stopped issuing new permits to develop mines since 2012 but has allowed exploration until now.

There are 40 metal mines operating in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office on June 30, has warned he would cancel mining projects causing environmental harm.-VNA