Manila Mining hits Lopez for ‘falsehood’

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Corporate&title=manila-mining-hits-lopez-for-&145falsehood&8217-&id=142071

MANILA MINING Corp. (MMC) denied Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez’s accusations that the listed company has no mine rehabilitation funds, saying this is “an assertion of falsehood.”

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“The statement made by Sec. Lopez under oath that MMC ‘has no fund to rehab’ is an assertion of falsehood. MMC has had mine rehabilitation funds since 1998 on deposit with a government bank,” the company said in a statement over the weekend.

During her Commission on Appointment hearing on March 8, Ms. Lopez alleged MMC had violated environmental laws for failing to deposit the mandated funds to rehabilitate its open pit mine in Placer, Surigao del Norte.

MMC said the mine rehabilitation accounts, which are monitored by the Multi-partite Monitory Team every quarter, have been found “sufficient” and “in compliance” with the company’s Care and Maintenance Program. The accounts were last monitored on March 2 and 3.

The listed miner also denied Ms. Lopez’s accusations it has not been taking care of its open pits. It noted the Caraga regional office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) conducted an investigation on MMC’s mine site last Feb. 27, which includes water sampling.

“The EMB’s Investigation Report showed that the water in the pits and the sea water adjoining the mine site had pH levels within DENR standards… We properly maintain our facilities on site to ensure that they do not harm the environment,” it said.

MMC also clarified that open pits do contain ore and are meant for mining prior rehabilitation efforts mandated pursuant to the Mining Act of 1995. — Janina C. Lim

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