The Philippines' Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu says he would not lift a ban on open-pit mining imposed in April in an anti-pollution crackdown. (Illustrative photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) -
The Philippines' Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu said on July 31 he would not lift a ban on open-pit mining imposed in April in an anti-pollution crackdown.

Speaking with reporters, Cimatu said the ban on open-pit mining issued by former secretary Lopez will be continued, adding that he is in no rush to make a decision on whether to maintain, modify or reserve his predecessor’s decisions.

He said he will review all evidence submitted by companies and affirmed that he does not want to put pressure on the people.

Cimatu, a former general, was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May after former-appointee Regina Lopez, failed to secure congressional confirmation after a drive to implement environment protection measures that raised mining industry hackles.

Earlier, Lopez led a 10-month campaign to control the mining industry, ordering the closure or suspension of 26 nickel ore mines and imposing a ban on open-pit mining.

[Philippine ministers concern over mass pit closure]

Nickel ore output in the Philippines fell 51 percent in the first quarter due to rains and the suspension of mine operations.

Following the secretary’s remarks, the Philippines' mining and oil sub-index dropped 0.11 percent.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte also stated that he wanted to stop exporting unprocessed mineral resources and warned miners in the country he would impose more taxes on the industry to raise money to help communities hurt by their operations.-VNA