Mining shares plunge after DENR suspends, closes more mines
MANILA, Philippines – Share prices of mining and oil stocks on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) dipped on Thursday, February 2, after Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the suspension and closure of several mining operations across the country.
Mining and oil stocks plunged by 1.65% or 200.73 points, closing at 11,951.84 on Thursday.
The sector's performance dragged main PSE index's share prices, which inched down by 0.02%, ending at 7,225.91.
Earlier that day, Lopez ordered the closure of 23 mining operations and the suspension of 5 operations. Among them are those of listed Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation and Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation.
Share prices of Lepanto Consolidated Mining went down by 9.31% to P0.185 apiece, after it was named as one of those mining companies whose operations were suspended.
"[O]ur mining operations continue. We maintain that Lepanto has not violated any environmental laws," the listed mining firm told the local bourse, saying it has not yet received any order of suspension from the DENR.
Meanwhile, Marcventures Mining's shares plunged by 11.11% to P1.84 each on Thursday. (READ: Investors in mining panic over Gina Lopez appointment)
The listed mining company assured the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that is compliant to laws and regulations, and is ready to respond to any closure order as soon as received.
"We emphasize the law recognizes [Marcventures Mining's] prior legal right to operate in the area. More importantly, we attest that our operations are done in a responsible manner and can be inspected at any time to show the clean waters," the company said in a disclosure.
A unit of Nickel Asia Corporation, Hinatuan Mining, was also ordered closed. But its parent firm said it has yet to receive the order. Its shares also declined by 0.58%, closing at P6.81 on Thursday.
For other listed mining firms, the DENR's clampdown on mining did not impact their financial performance and operations.
Atok Big-Wedge Company Incorporated, Manila Mining Corporation, Philex Mining Corporation, and Zeus Holdings Incorporated told the local bourse that the DENR audit had "no effect" on their business, operations, or financial conditions as they were not among the firms whose operations were suspended or closed.
Mining and oil sector saw its lowest growth rate since August 2015 last June 2016, as investors panicked over anti-mining advocate Lopez's appointment as head of the DENR. – Rappler.com