This serves as a counter statement to the unverified news circulating online stating that there is an open pit mining particularly outside the protected areas of Davao Oriental. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-XI) would like to clarify that it is not true.

Please be informed that the Austral-Asia Link Mining Corporation and Hallmark Mining Corporation (ALMC/HMC), both located in Barangay Cabuaya and Barangay Macambol, City of Mati, Province of Davao Oriental are nickel mines with valid and existing Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) Nos. 197-2004-XI and 196-2004-XI, respectively, and employ strip or contour mining method only. Likewise, an Environmental Compliance Certificate was issued to ALMC/HMC based on the study of the environmental climate of the area.

However, both ALMC/HMC are under Care and Maintenance status and have not operated since 2016. The location of both ALMC/HMC are outside and adjoining the Mount Hamiguitan Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Local Government Unit of the City of Mati has made a statement via a Facebook post, dated 23 May 2022, assuring the public of the same. Also, ALMC/HMC already waived a portion of their mining claims to be part of the protected wildlife sanctuary and collaborated with the DENR in the delineation of the property’s buffer zone boundaries.

Further, DENR and MGB adhere to Responsible Mining. This industry is undeniably a source materials that are essential to our living. Metallic minerals, such as Nickel is an essential metal used as an alloy in the production of our mobile phones, buildings, transportations, power generation, electric battery for new generation of electric cars to name a few.

This office acknowledges the concerns raised by various environmental groups and advocates. Rest assured that you are heard and that the DENR is likewise putting its best foot forward to keep our environment and natural resources sustainably managed. Altogether, let us continue to be its stewards with balanced and profound perspective.

Thank you.