Ipilan Nickel Corp. (INC) said its mine site in Brooke’s Point, Palawan continues to operate even after the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan last week.
The ruling does not interrupt INC’s operations, as the petition for a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) has been rejected, according to the company.
In acknowledging the SC Writ of Kalikasan, INC said it welcomes the order as “an opportunity to address and dispel recurring baseless allegations that have consistently been refuted by various governmental bodies.”
“The petition against Ipilan is marked by distortions and inaccuracies, suggesting a motive to undermine Ipilan’s legitimate operations by fueling anti-mining sentiments and deceiving the public,” the company’s statement read.
Contrary to the petitioner’s claims, Ipilan said it has obtained a Certification Precondition exemption from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in 2006.
Additionally, Proclamation No. 1815 (2009), which designated the Mt. Mantalingahan Mountain Range as a Protected Area, validates pre-existing contracts such as the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the government.
“It is important to note that the company refrains from mining within the overlapping area. The allegations related to tree-cutting activities were conducted under the authority of a valid permit, upheld by the court,” INC said.
“Ipilan remains resolute in aligning its operations with the highest environmental and ethical standards, promoting sustainable practices and regulatory compliance. It is steadfast in its mission to responsibly harness natural resources, fostering local and national progress for the collective benefit of all stakeholders.”
Last week, the NCIP issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) against the nickel ore mining operations of Celestial Nickel Mining Corp. and INC in Brooke’s Point, Palawan.
According to the NCIP, the mining companies failed to secure a certification precondition and the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from concerned indigenous people that have ancestral domain claim over in the area.
INC urged the NCIP to immediately revoke the CDO slapped by its satellite office in Mimaropa against the company.
The company said it has a “fruitful partnership” with the indigenous peoples’ community and cited its “sincere efforts” to address royalty concerns in consultations with the NCIP.