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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a visit in Baguio city, Philippines March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Harley Palangchao

(reuters_tickers)

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday it may be "worthwhile" for Environment Secretary Regina Lopez to reinforce a ban on mining given the environmental damage that producers have caused.

It was not immediately clear whether Duterte was calling for a total ban on mining or a strengthening of Lopez's order closing more than half of the mines in the Philippines.

Duterte also said at the media briefing that he wants to meet with local miners so they can explain to him what led to the destruction of the environment in areas where they operate.

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Reuters