DENR Sec. Lopez visits Rio Tuba mine in Palawan

[Developing Story] DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez paid a visit to Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), both located in Rio Tuba, Bataraza, Palawan on Wednesday, December 7.

Lopez, who was accompanied by former Undersecretary now Consultant Leo Jasareno and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland de Jesus, was welcomed by RTN/CBNC’s top officials namely Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) President Gerry Brimo, NAC Senior Vice President Dennis Zamora, Sumitomo Metal Mining Philippine Holdings Corporation (SMMPH) Director Takanori Fujimura, and CBNC President Takeshi Kubota.

Some of the sites that Lopez and her team visited were RTN’s mining area, CBNC’s plant, the company’s decommissioned tailings storage facility now rehabilitated area, a Gawad Kalinga site at Sitio Bongkol-Bongkol, Rio Tuba, the RTN Hospital, and other social development management program (SDMP) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) program sites of the two companies. Lopez also conducted dialogue with some members of the community on environment, mining and quarrying, among other issues.

In a phone interview, Ernesto Llacuna, SDMP Executive Officers of RTNMC/CBNC, said that based on what Sec. Lopez said to them during the whole-day visit, she seems impressed with their operations especially in terms of environmental protection and enhancement programs, as well as with the implementation of SDMP and CSR programs.

MGB Director de Jesus said in an interview with Palawan News that Sec. Lopez is so far generally satisfied with how the two companies operates.

Meanwhile, Nelson Devanadera, Executive Director of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, offered his take on Lopez’ visit to Palawan.

Kasi diba dalawang mining company na hindi suspended diba? Gagawing standard ‘yan. Parang modelo. Compliant sya eh. Tinitingnan nila kung ano programa ginagawa ng Rio Tuba at Coral Bay to be that model o standard,” he said. However, Devanadera clarified that it is merely his assumption and not necessarily the official statement of Sec. Lopez.

CBNC and RTNMC are the remaining mineral-related companies operating in Palawan, both having passed the DENR’s mining audit this year.

RTNMC is a subsidiary of NAC, while CBNC is a subsidiary of SMMPH

Santos, Catherine. (Dec. 2016). “ DENR Sec. Lopez visits Rio Tuba mine in Palawan” Palawan News. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2016 from

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