The interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) has ruled with finality that no metallic mines will either be suspended or shutdown from the controversial mining audit review conducted by the late and former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez.

In a text exchange, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said no mining companies are poised to get suspension or closure orders based on the MICC review of 44 large-scale metallic mines from 2018 to December 2020.

Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin

“Some mines did better, or worse, than others,” Agabin said. When asked if there will be suspension and closure orders that will be issued as a result of the audit, he only said “none that I recall.”

“If I remember correctly, there are some recommended corrective actions. These companies were the ones that were not issued suspension or closure orders in 2016,” he further said.

To recall, MICC had commissioned independent, multi-disciplinary teams composed of technical, legal, social, economic, and environmental experts to undertake a review of large-scale metallic mines in the country.

In a statement last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who co-chairs the MICC with Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, said these teams, whose work started from February 2018 to December 2020, have already submitted their recommendations covering their two-phase review of 44 large-scale metallic mines operated by 43 companies. The review covered the results of the mining audit conducted by Lopez in 2016.

Last week, MICC conducted a virtual Mining Review Dissemination Forum. However, the MICC only presented the general and cumulative findings of the review.

And based on its findings, most mining companies that were scrutinized got a high score on all aspects of the audit, namely economic, social, technical, legal, and environmental. Those who got lower scores were just told to do minor to major reforms in their operations.

The MICC then proceeded to give recommendations on mining companies on how to further improve their overall operations.

Source: Manila Bulletin (