Days before Gina Lopez was officially rejected by the Commission on Appointments as DENR Secretary, she issued an order banning open pit mining nationwide for many metallic products. After her exit from the DENR, the order remains unless there is another order from the new DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to lift that ban. Sec. Cimatu so far has not done anything yet to withraw that ban, so some players are a bit concerned. See this news from Phil. Star.
Why is Sec. Cimatu not lifting that weird and lousy ban? To extract the minerals safely for the workers and if the mineral ores are in shallow surface, open pit mining is the most practical way. After an area is mined out, it is also easier to cover it with topsoil and forest re-introduction and rehabilitation can be done.
Back to G.Lo, when she made that order in late April, she exempted quarrying of non-metallic products from the open-pit ban. Could this be among the reasons — lime quarrying by First Balfour, a Lopez-owned company in Rizal province?