Australia’s OceanaGold Corp. plans to elevate its plea for injunction to the Court of Appeals after the provincial court of Nueva Vizcaya denied the request of the company to end the unauthorized restraint of the Didipio operations by the local government.
Local government units of Nueva Vizcaya since July 1, 2019 denied access to and from the mine site in response to an alleged unlawful directive from the governor to ‘restrain any operations’ of the company.
Due to the depletion of consumable mining supplies, Didipio’s underground mining has been suspended. Ore processing continues along with other critical activities to ensure the safety of employees and protection of the environment.
The company sought a renewal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in March 2018. The DENR allowed the miner to continue operations pending confirmation of the FTAA renewal.
The company said the authority over the Didipio Mine rested with the national government. The Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), it said, did not grant the power or authority to the provincial governor or any local government officer to restrain any aspect of the Didipio operation.
The company continues to work with the national government to finalize the renewal of the FTAA and remains open to the opportunity to engage with the provincial government and work together in the best interest of the local stakeholders.
OceanaGold said it remained committed to operating in accordance with the law and would always comply with its responsibilities under the contract with the national government.
The Didipio Mine is an underground gold and copper mine located across the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.
The operation in the past decade received numerous awards. It is a two-time recipient of the Presidential Award as the most environmentally and socially responsible mining operation in the Philippines and was awarded the first Asean Mineral Award for best practices in sustainable development.
It is considered one of the safest gold mining operations in the world. The company over the past two years implemented a state-of-art automated and digital underground mining technology.