The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines came out Monday to support the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s suspension of Chinese nickel mining firm Shenzou Mining Group Corporation.
In a statement, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, or COMP, said that Shenzou is one of the foreign mining firms on the Mines Bureau’s watch list for alleged violations of environmental laws. Shenzou is not a member of COMP.
The Mines Bureau had issued the suspension Sunday after its Multi-Disciplinary Team found that Shenzou had failed to adequately address the siltation incidents in its area.
The mining company had also constructed a “settling pond” right on the sea, along the Claver town shoreline in Surigao del Norte where the company operates.
A settling pond is a structure where silt-laden water is temporarily impounded in order to allow silt materials to settle down, after which water is allowed to overflow silt-free.
COMP is confident that its members adhere to the principles of responsible mining.
Be that as it may, the group is closely monitoring its members and those found to be reneging on their duties to the environment and host communities will be required to undertake appropriate corrective measures.
Violations will also be grounds for suspension or expulsion from the membership roster.
“As an expression of our resolve to address the concerns of different sectors of our society on mining, we are finalising a Scorecard with respectable non-government organisations to find new and better ways of measuring our industry’s performance, not only in the area of community development, but, equally important, in environmental conservation,” said Chamber of Mines Chair Art Disini.
Furthermore, COMP reiterated its support for the environmental protection and management provisions of Executive Order 79, and committed itself to work closely with relevant government agencies to ensure the cooperation of Chamber members in the implementation of these provisions.