THE Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has canceled the mineral agreement of a nickel operation based in Tawi-Tawi.

In an order, MENRE said it canceled the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) of Southern Nickel Corp.

MPSAs give concession holders exclusive rights to mine a defined area. In exchange, the local government receives a share of earnings from the mining operations.

Under its MPSA, Southern Nickel has a total contract area of 8,100 hectares divided into two parcels.

This includes 729 hectares for the first parcel and 7,371 hectares for the second, located within the municipalities of Languyan, Bongao, and Pang-lima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi.

Southern Nickel and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-ARMM executed the agreement in October 2007.

This covered the explorations, sustainable development, and commercial utilization of nickel and other mineral deposits within the mining company’s contract area.

The agency said that the MPSA may be terminated due to expiration, withdrawal of the contractor, violation of terms and conditions, failure to pay dues and financial obligations for two years, or though false statement or omission of facts. — A.H. Halili