On March 31, 2021, the PCIJ published the report "Digging for profits: Who owns PH mines?" based on the list of mines ordered closed and suspended in 2017 by then Environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez.
Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. on April 6, 2021 issued a statement (released as a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange) that its unit, Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC), "has never been issued an order of closure or suspension. Nor has PGMC received any such order.”
Here are the facts.
A total of 28 mines were listed in a press release published in February 2017 on the website of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Based on that list, which was widely reported in the news media, PGMC was one of the mining firms ordered closed by the late secretary.
The PCIJ story also clearly showed that most of the mines in Lopez’s 2017 list, including PGMC, have ongoing operations.
PGMC was in fact listed in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau's (MGB) “directory of metallic operating mines as of January 2021” as one of the mining companies with commercial operations. It was also included in the MGB list of firms with “existing” MPSAs.
The PCIJ story was all about what happened to Lopez’s closure and suspension orders. President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to “review” Lopez’s orders in 2017. Four years later, the results of the review have yet to be released.
PCIJ wrote to Malacañang and the DENR to ask about the status of the MICC review, but they have not given us updates.— PCIJ, April 2021