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Nickel Asia unit not giving up mining on Manicani

Metal News - Published on Fri, 22 Dec 2017

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Business Mirror reported that executives of Nickel Asia Corp and subsidiary Hinatuan Mining Corp said they are not giving up mining on Manicani Island. This, as anti mining protesters opposing the application by NAC and HMC to reopen its suspended operations on the island ended their campout at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office in Tacloban City.

NAC President and CEO Gerard H Brimo said the company will be pursuing its application to extend HMC’s mineral production and sharing agreement with the government to undertake mineral-development activities on Manicani Island in Guiuian, Eastern Samar. He said that “Manicani is part of our plan for [minerals] development.”

He added they will pursue their appeal for an extension of the MPSA.

Mr Brimo said that “We need to discuss with the DENR. It is ironic that all the LGUs [local government units], including four barangays on the island, the municipality of Guiuan and provincial government, have all endorsed the project. We actually went as far as doing a survey in all the barangays and the residents; close to about 90 percent, overwhelmingly support the project.”

He chided the critics and detractors of the project as “very much a minority” and described the opposition to the project on Manicani Island as “a tyranny of the minority.”

He added that “But, you know, it creates controversy and makes waves. Even if you get 20 people to the DENR, it captures the attention of the media.”

Led by the Save Manicani Movement, the antimining advocates said they will hold on to the promise of Environment Secretary Roy A Cimatu that no mining permit will be granted to applications that cover small and supposedly protected islands like Manicani.

Mining on the island that began in 2002 was halted in 2005 after the provincial government of Eastern Samar declared a total ban of large-scale mining operations in the province.

HMC applied for a renewal of its MPSA on the island after it expired on October 28. The application had already been endorsed by the four barangays in Manicani Island, the municipal council of Guiuan and the provincial board of Eastern Samar.

Given its permit, NAC and HMC will be allowed to operate another 25 years of operation on the island, a 1,165-hectare island.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 22 Dec 2017
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