DENR lifts suspension on DMCI mining unit

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THE government has lifted the suspension of mining operations of DMCI Mining Corp.’s nickel mine in Zambales.

In a disclosure on Thursday, its parent company DMCI Holdings, Inc. said Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) received the resolution dated Sept. 30 issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Oct. 9.

“Through said Resolution, DENR has ordered to lift the suspension of ZDMC’s mine operations,” DMCI said.

ZDMC is a nickel mine site in the municipality of Sta. Cruz in Zambales. It covers 8.58% of the total land area with a mineral resource of about 46.45 million metric tons (MT) based on its Annual Mineral Reserve Inventory Report of December 2016.

It was one of the mine sites that were suspended by the DENR in November 2018. Only Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC), another unit of DMCI Mining, passed the mining audit.

As part of the requirements of DENR, ZDMC has submitted a rehabilitation plan in order to resume operations.

The Berong and Zambales mines, two of more than 30 nickel-ore producers in the Philippines, in recent years accounted for less than 5% of the nation’s output of the material, which is used in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries.

Top nickel ore buyer China is expected to rely on the Philippines, the world’s second-largest ore producer in 2018, for supply that will replace ore shipments from last year’s top producer Indonesia, which is due to ban its ore exports in 2020. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang with Reuters