Canada's TVI says wins injunction over Philippine mine ban

Thu Jan 5, 2012 12:05am EST
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MANILA (Reuters) - Canada's TVI Pacific Inc said its Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc, has won a court injunction reversing a local ban on open-pit mining in a southern province hosting its $60 million copper and zinc mine.

The injunction will allow TVI Resource to continue its Canatuan mining operations in Zamboanga del Norte, while waiting for the final court ruling on the legality of the ordinance.

The ordinance imposed late last year would have forced TVI Resource to close its mine by November 2012.

TVI Pacific, in a statement posted on its website on Thursday, quoted a portion of the court order as saying "TVI is entitled to an injunction because it would suffer grave and irreparable damage and injury if the ordinance would be implemented."

"This is excellent news for all TVI stakeholders," TVI Pacific president and chief executive officer Cliff James said. "We strongly believe the powers to be assumed by the province under the ordinance and by the provincial governor of Zamboanga del Norte are unconstitutional."

He said TVI expects a lengthy process involving court hearings on the legality of the ordinance, but "will continue to relentlessly pursue ultimate relief from what we view as an unconstitutional local legislation."

Zamboanga del Norte Governor Rolando Yebes declined to comment about the court order.

"My lawyers have informed me about it but I won't issue any statement until I've seen the court order," he told Reuters.

Edgar Baguio, a provincial legislator who co-authored the ordinance, told Reuters in November the provincial board had unanimously approved the ordinance "to protect and conserve the integrity of the land and water resources of Zamboanga del Norte."   Continued...