On 2017, the Ministry of Economic Affairs agreed to extend Asia Cement's mining rights in Hualien's Sincheng by 20 years. At the time, environmental organizations filed an appeal but the appeal was denied. They immediately filed an administrative lawsuit. In July, the Taipei High Administrative Court issued a ruling cancelling the Executive Yuan's decision and the administrative punishment for the ministry's approval of the extension. Until now, however, only Asia Cement has expressed intention to appeal. The ministry has not yet made a decision. Therefore, environmental groups are calling on the ministry to give up the appeal and calling on the ministry to stop wasting resources on lawsuits.
Environmental groups and members of the Anti-Asia Cement Self-Help Association call on the government to stop wasting resources on lawsuits and appeals. In 2017, the Ministry of Economic Affairs agreed to extend Asia Cement's mining rights in Hualien's Sincheng by 20 years. After an appeal and administrative litigation were dismissed, the Taipei High Administrative Court dismissed administrative penalties and said the ministry should not appeal the ruling and instead show some respect for the indigenous community.
Please have some self-respect and stop using your working rights to threaten the indigenous community and Asia Cement workers. Stop using these despicable means to sow discord within the Taroko Tribe.
In reality, they may not have a way to -- or they won't actively pursue consultation and consent rights, because even if they haven't consented yet, they can continue mining as long as the rejection hasn't happened yet. We feel this impacts the rights of surrounding and indigenous residents. We hope the Ministry of Economic Affairs can stop wasting time on appealing.
A lawyer says the ruling notice was received on July 25 and an appeal must be filed within 20 days. Asia Cement announced earlier in July that it was preparing for an appeal due to factors including business and industrial development as well as the livelihoods of its employees. The ministry remains undecided.
We are still discussing (whether to appeal). We have to provide the Executive Yuan with some relevant laws, industrial development, social factors, indigenous rights (and other topics) for analysis. We will make a decision after we give all this to the Executive Yuan.
The ministry says it will discuss relevant legal, industrial, environmental and indigenous rights issues with the Executive Yuan before making a decision. Meanwhile, environmental groups say even if the extension penalties are revoked under current mining laws, the company can continue mining for now and the government needs to amend the Mining Act as soon as possible.