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Four mining firms fail review – official

Four mining companies have failed to meet standards set by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) during a preliminary review.

MICC member and Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin declined to identify the firms but said they were among the 27 whose operations were ordered suspended or closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over a year ago.

The mining firms were rated based on four of the five standards set by MICC technical review teams, Agabin said.

“They have completed the legal, technical, environmental, and social aspects of the review but the team needs one or two weeks more to complete the economic aspect,” the Finance department official said.

“They still need to do a cost benefit analysis.”

Nevertheless, Agabin noted that the four mining firms failed to reach a passing average of 1.5 for the four aspects.

“The review teams assessed each mine in connection with the criteria and the benchmarks. And then the system was such that 3 is the highest score acceptable, 2 is minor reforms needed, 1 is major reforms, 0 is unacceptable,” he explained.

Twenty-five experts make up the MICC’s five technical review teams.

The industry review will also include recommendations on how to maximize mining’s benefits and avoid damages; a list of violations committed by mining companies that the DENR would have trouble addressing by itself; and appropriate penalties for these violations or damages.

The teams are also expected to recommend measures to prevent these violations from being repeated.

The MICC, Agabin said, is only a recommendatory body and the final decision for the mines under review would depend on the DENR and the Office of the President.

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