Administrative Order 2021-40, promulgated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, lifted the ban on the open pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores which was banned under DENR A.O. 2017-10. It aims to revitalise the mining industry due to its economic benefits while managing the adverse environmental effects of surface mining methods.
The Order provided for additional conditions to be applied to surface mining methods, requiring the permittee to conduct baseline information gathering and evaluation to be placed in a Mining Project Feasibility Study. This includes: prevention or control of hazardous chemicals, conduct of a comprehensive stakeholders’ involvement process, assessment and monitoring of geological features.
Lastly, the Order created an Oversight Committee for assessing surface mining to review performance and compliance of existing mining operations.