Final DENR list: PGMC's mine in Surigao also faces closure

MANILA, Philippines – The mining operations of Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC) in Surigao del Norte also face closure, based on a final list that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) posted on its website on Friday, February 3.

The final list was posted a day after Environment Secretary Gina Lopez presented the mining audit findings to the media, and announced the closure of 23 mining operations in the country.

There was some confusion on whether PGMC passed or failed the government's mining audit on Thursday. During her presentation, Lopez cited it as among the mining operations facing closure, but a list distributed to the media hours after the briefing excluded PGMC and cited another company.

A source privy to the final list but is not authorized to speak about it said the DENR made a "mistake" when it excluded PGMC among the mining operations facing closure, and instead replaced it with "Platinum Development Corporation" in the list distributed to the media Thursday afternoon.

"It was a mistake. It is PGMC [on the list]," the source said.

This correction is now reflected in the final list posted on the DENR website, which includes PGMC as among the 23 mining operations facing closure. (READ: Confusion over the mining list: How did DENR decide on closure?)

According to Lopez's PowerPoint presentation, which is posted on her Facebook page, the mining operations of PGMC in Claver, Surigao del Norte, will be closed down because of environmental violations such as siltation of coastal waters, and mining in a watershed.

Lopez said on Thursday the DENR decided to close any kind of mining operation in functional watersheds in the country.

Rappler tried to further clarify the error on the list with DENR officials, but they have not responded as of posting.

Concerned mining companies can still appeal the DENR decision with the Office of the President. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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