Statement: Miners Relieved as Govt Relaxes Ban on Open Pits


The Alliance of Responsible Miners of Region-XI (ARMOR XI) welcomes the decision of the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to overturn the open-pit mining ban.

ARMOR-XI is encouraged by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s concurrence with the MICC’s recommendation to lift the ban on open-pit mining if mining laws, rules and regulations are strictly enforced.

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez issued DAO 2017-10 on April 27, 2017 absolutely banning open-pit mining as a method for extracting copper, gold, silver and other complex ores throughout the country. The Philippine Mining Act, however, allows the open-pit mining method, which is an internationally accepted method for extracting minerals from the surface.

ARMOR-XI maintains that open-pit mining is not inconsistent with responsible mineral development. The mining method to be employed is dictated by the nature and location of the deposit to ensure that it is extracted in the safest and practical manner. Moreover, Philippine  laws provide sufficient safeguards to ensure that mining operations are conducted responsibly.

The alliance believes that the imminent lifting of the ban is a promising development in the mining industry as this may lead to the resumption of operations of some of the most important and responsible mining ventures in Mindanao.

The Alliance reiterates that it faithfully adheres to the best practices of environmental management and supports the sustainable development of its host communities.