Energy Philippines’ Duterte says nation can survive without mining companies

Philippines’ Duterte says nation can survive without mining companies

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines July 25, 2016.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned mining companies to strictly follow tighter environmental rules or shut down, saying the Southeast Asian nation could survive without a mining industry.

“We will survive as a nation without you,” Duterte told a media briefing, referring to the country’s miners. “Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down.”

The Philippines has suspended operations of seven domestic mines for failure to comply with environmental regulations. Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez, who began an audit of all mining sites on July 8, last week vowed to close more operations causing environmental destruction.

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