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MGB affirms GFNI unit’s right to mine in Brooke’s Point

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Nickel miner Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. said Thursday the Mines and Geosciences Bureau affirmed unit Ipilan Nickel Corp.’s exclusive right to conduct mining operations in Brooke’s Point, Palawan.

The MGB declared that the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement between the government and INC covering 2,835 hectares of land in Brooke’s Point remained valid until April 2025, GFNI said in a stock exchange filing.

GFNI said Engr. Glen Marcelo Noble, regional director of MGB-MIMAROPA Region, issued the clarification in a letter dated Feb. 21, 2023 to Brooke’s Point vice-mayor Mary Jean Feliciano in response to a resolution by the Sangguniang Bayan seeking to halt INC’s mining operations in the area.

Residents of Brooke’s Point early this week set up human barricade to prevent INC from further conducting mining activities in the property. The resolution aimed to investigate the operations of INC following questions on the alleged renewal of its MPSA in 2018. IPC was also operating without a mayor’s permit in 2023.

Noble said, however, the MPSA did not expire on Aug. 5, 2018. MPSA No. 017-93-IV was amended on April 10, 2000 to conform to RA7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, he said.

GFNI said INC was in the process of securing a mayor’s permit for mining operations for 2023.

“We are awaiting the renewal of our mayor’s permit as we have already submitted the necessary documents and complied with all laws and regulations,” said IPC resident mine manager Alex Arabis.

INC employs over 1,500 workers, 90 percent of whom are residents and indigenous peoples of Brooke’s Point.

INC said it spent close to P53.3 million to fund various projects to improve the quality of life in Brooke’s Point and nearby areas.

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