The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Philippines has cleared half of all pending mining applications filed it its various regional offices.

The bureau has cleared total of 1,150 of 2,180 mining applications, of which, 903 mining applications were denied and 247 mining applications were sanctioned.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Ramon Paje ordered MGB’s regional offices to cleanse 50% of all their pending and inactive mining applications by February 2011 and the remaining 50% by December 2011.

Apart from pending mining applications, exploration periods of mining contracts that have expired for more than five years and mining contracts for which three-year work programmes have not been implemented are also subject to final action.

The implementation of the ‘use it or lose it’ policy means cancellation of mining applications that were unable to comply with all the requirements set by the government, including mining tenements that have remained inactive and unproductive through the years.