Philippines mining bureau official says open-pit ban has "no legal basis"

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 29, 2017 12:44 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - A ban on open-pit mining in the Philippines enforced by a former environment minister has "no legal basis" and is under review, a senior official at the government's mines bureau said on Thursday.

"In the Philippines ... surface mining or 'open-pit' is technically and financially feasible," Larry Heradez, chief of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau's legal division, told reporters.

Heradez is part of a team that is reviewing the policy orders of Regina Lopez, the former environment secretary who was dismissed last month.

Heradez also said that some of the 75 mining contract cancellations that Lopez ordered may end up being upheld due to "possible violations like non-payment of taxes and non-implementation of work programmes".

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.)