The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has started its audit of mining companies in Palawan since early this week, said Director Roland de Jesus of DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
De Jesus said that the audit team has finished auditing Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) in Quezon and there is an on-going audit of CitiNickel Mines and Development Corporation’s (CitiNickel) mining operations in Narra and Sofroñio Espanola. It can be recalled that both BNC and CitiNickel have been previously suspended by the DENR for violations.
The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), the only remaining mining-related operations in the province, are scheduled for audit on August 15-17. RTNMC and CBNC, both operating in Bataraza, are involved in mineral mining and mineral processing, respectively.
The audit team is composed of representatives from national agencies, specifically DENR’s Central Office, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Department of Health, as well as local units, namely representatives from the Social Action Center (of the religious sector) and NGO-group Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI). De Jesus clarified that they exert no influence on the auditing process as most of the team comes from other regions.
De Jesus also said that it is beyond his current knowledge as to when the results of the audit for the four mining companies will be released. “It depends on our top management,” he added.