MANILA - The Chamber of Mines said Monday it would create an oversight body to investigate and act on complaints against its members.
The committee will tap third-party experts for the audit, which will be a step towards "self-policing," said NickelAsia President and CEO Gerard Brimo, chairman of the chamber's board of trustees.
"There’s clamor from quite a number of sectors that we move into that and this is a step in that direction," he told reporters.
A member-company can ask for an investigation to clear its name if it gets accused of malpractice, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte warned mining companies during his annual address to Congress that he would tax them "to death" if they fail to restore the "virginity" of exploited areas.
Apex Mining Co has resigned from the group, citing "disappointment and frustration" with their response to Duterte's call for the industry to preserve the environment.
The company's president and CEO, Walter Brown, said small-scale miners should not take the blame for damage to the environment when the President put the entire industry to task.
Brimo said the chamber had "taken at heart" Duterte's call "to do things responsibly and to do mine rehabilitation" during their meeting at Malacañang.
He said that "quite a number" of their member-companies do mine rehabilitation and reforestation efforts, which they are required to do for 10 years after their operation is terminated.