September 30, 2016 / 5:25 AM / 10 months ago

Philippine mining minister: Not all 20 mines facing suspension may be halted

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MANILA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The Philippine government may not freeze all 20 mines facing suspension for environmental infractions and they will be given time to address any lapses, the minister in charge of mining said on Friday.

"Yes if they are able to fix whatever" needs to be fixed, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez told Reuters when asked if it is possible that not all 20 mines will be suspended.

"Some of the violations though will take time to fix. So they need to use their employees to fix it."

Lopez's agency said on Tuesday that 20 more mines have been recommended for suspension and gave them seven days to explain any violations and submit measures to rectify them.

Manila has already halted 10 mines and suspending another 20 would leave only 11 operating mines in the Southeast Asian country, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the world's mined nickel supply - most of which is shipped to China.

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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