OceanaGold: Permits, endorsements secured for mine contract renewal

By Anna Leah Gonzales

April 23, 2024, 5:46 pm

MANILA – OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) said on Tuesday it has complied with all the necessary requirements needed to be able to secure a permit to extend the operations of its Didipio gold and copper mine in Nueva Vizcaya.

In a statement, the company said it has yet to receive a copy of a complaint filed by the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC), questioning the legality of the renewal of the mining company's operations.

A petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) issued to mining firm OceanaGold was filed by the LRC on Monday before the Bayombong Regional Trial Court.

Ryan Roset, senior legal fellow of LRC, claimed that the renewal of operations was granted to OceanaGold in 2021 despite the lack of prior consultation and the endorsement of the local government constitutes.

"The Local Government Code requires the national government to conduct consultations with different stakeholders before the implementation of an environmentally critical project. Since no prior approvals have been secured by OGPI over its renewed FTAA, the project cannot be implemented and should be deemed illegal," Roset said.

OceanaGold, however, said community endorsements were secured.

"We have not received a copy of the complaint, but we can assure you that OGPI, as a mining partner of government, goes beyond compliance in adhering to the Philippines' strict mining regulations, including what is required from us based on our Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement," OGPI said.

"We have an Environmental Impact Assessment which was required prior to the grant of an Environment Compliance Certificate for the Didipio Mine. Likewise. We have complied with the requirement of community endorsements prior to the grant of permit to operate the mine. We respect all opinions of our stakeholders and we continue to be open for dialogue and productive engagements," it added. (PNA)