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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is evaluating 100 new mining projects as the nine-year ban on new permits is lifted. Doubts are raised over a government projection that it will earn additional P21 billion in annual revenues, however.

Ten of the 28 mining companies ordered closed or suspended by the late Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina ‘Gina’ Lopez posted net gains based on their latest available financial statements. Sixteen suffered net losses, while two others have no available information.

In Benguet, critics are dismayed and wary of environmental degradation and natural disasters. The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines is also waiting for Malacañang to resolve the suspensions and “move mining forward.”