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Philippine mining group says mine closures, suspension to affect 1.2 million people

This photo taken on June 16, 2016 shows a barge being loaded with nickel ore at a private port in Infanta town, Pangasinan province, north of Manila.
Ted Aljibe | AFP | Getty Images
This photo taken on June 16, 2016 shows a barge being loaded with nickel ore at a private port in Infanta town, Pangasinan province, north of Manila.

The planned closure of 23 Philippine mines, mostly nickel producers, and the suspension of five others will affect about 1.2 million people, the head of the country's mining group said on Friday.

Artemio Disini, chairman of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, also told a briefing that the first option for affected miners wold be to appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte "before going to the courts".

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez ordered the closures and suspensions on Thursday when she announced the results of a months-long audit on the country's 41 mines aimed at penalizing those that have harmed the environment.

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