Philippines puts Xstrata mine on hold
MANILA (AFP) - A US$5.9-billion (S$7.2 billion) mining project by Swiss giant Xstrata in the Philippines may not begin operations in 2016 as scheduled owing to delays in getting environmental clearance, the government said on Wednesday.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the clearance permit for the project would be considered only after a planned new mining reform law takes effect, but there was no guarantee that parliament would pass the legislation in time.
"We cannot commit, of course, because we do not have control over Congress," Mr Paje told reporters when asked if the government could ensure the law is passed in time for the Tampakan project to go ahead.
Mr Paje said the government wants the planned enormous gold and copper mine in the southern Philippines, which would be the country's largest ever foreign investment, to go ahead.