Philippines' Duterte says to review mining projects

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 6:22 AM

DAVAO, Philippines (Reuters) - Incoming Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he would order a comprehensive review of mining projects in the country, warning he would cancel operations that are causing environmental harm.

"There will be a comprehensive review of the mining claims of concessions given. And you must endeavor, if you are into it, be sure that you have enough resources" Duterte told a business conference.

"For I will require you to go to Canada or Australia, learn how to mine the precious metals inside the bowels of the earth and do it. Because ... (if) you are spoiling the land, I will cancel it without hesitation."

The Southeast Asian nation has among the largest untapped mineral resources in the region but years of opposition from the Catholic Church and a strong anti-mining lobby, as well as insurgency and widespread corruption, have stalled many projects including the $5.9 billion gold-copper Tampakan project in the southern Mindanao island discovered in 1991.

(Reporting by Karen Lema, Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar)