2-year moratorium on mines exploration lifted

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted the moratorium on exploration permits for metallic and non-metallic mines by nullifying a portion of former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez’s first memorandum order.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu signed the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2018- 13 on July 13, 2018, which states that, moratorium on acceptance, processing, and/or approval of Exploration Permit applications for metallic and non-metallic minerals has been lifted following the completion of the audit on all mining operations pursuant to DENR Memorandum Order No. 2016-01, or “Audit of all Operating Mines and Moratorium on new Mining Projects.”

In 2016, Lopez issued a memorandum order which subject an extensive audit of all operating and suspended mines as well as the moratorium on the acceptance, processing, and approval of application and projects for all metallic and non-metallic minerals.”

He further said that Lopez overstepped her authority and that it is legally accepted to explore.

The lifting order is in line with President Duterte’s economic agenda, particularly on increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business to attract local and foreign direct investment to the country.

The exploration permit applications shall be filed in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office concerned for acceptance, processing, and approval pursuant to the pertinent provisions of DAO 2010-21 and DAO 2012-07.