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FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a news conference after concluding the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila, Philippines April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro


MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday the government cannot scrap an existing mining law but added that he wants to implement stricter measures.

"But remember there is a mining law and we cannot altogether banish it," Duterte told a media briefing.

Duterte this week named former general Roy Cimatu as the new environment minister to replace staunch environmentalist Regina Lopez, a move welcomed by miners in the world's top nickel ore producer but opposed by green groups who said he does not have a track record in conservation.

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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