DENR to reopen mining firms closed by Gina Lopez

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will allow mining companies previously closed by the late secretary Gina Lopez to resume operations.

Lopez’s successor, former army general Roy Cimatu, confirmed in a virtual briefing on Wednesday, July 22, that the DENR’s audit teams already came out with recommendations upon inspecting the mining sites.

Lopez ordered the closure of around 26 mining companies during her short stint as environment secretary, citing various violations.

Cimatu did not disclose the names of the mining firms, but assured the public that the companies have already corrected lapses.

Lopez was hailed by environmental groups for her firm stand against mining. (READ: Why miners are not ready for Gina Lopez)

Alyansa Tigil Mina, an anti-mining group, even went on to praise her, saying that "it's rare to have an oligarch wage a battle against her own class."

This advocacy, however, led to lawmakers rejecting Lopez's appointment after fierce lobbying by mining companies. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.