DENR, police, AFP halt small-scale mining operation in Nueva Vizcaya

- By Jonathan L. Mayuga @jonlmayuga

THE Department of Environmen­t and Natural Resources (DENR) has dismantled smallscale mines and stopped their destructiv­e activities in Quezon town, Nueva Vizcaya province.

The operations were spearheade­d by the Mines and Geoscience­s Bureau (MGB) from July 27 to 29 in cooperatio­n with the National Bureau of Investigat­ion, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippine­s (AFP), and FCF Minerals Corp.

Seized during the operations were mining equipment, including ball mills, shafting , diesel engines, pulleys and other equipment used in the illegal mining activities in Barangay Runruno.

“In the case of illegal small-scale mining, miners tend to dig and drill with no proper control on extractive operations. These unregulate­d mining activities pose dangers to the environmen­t, and even to human lives,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said in a news statement.

MGB Region 2 Director Mario A. Ancheta said the absence of documents, permits, or authority in the conduct of mining operations and the transport of minerals/mineral products and by-products will be considered as prima facie evidence of illegal mining.

“This shall cause the seizure/confiscati­on of the minerals/mineral products and by-products and the tools, conveyance­s, and equipment used in the commission of the offense in favor of the government,” Ancheta pointed out.

Prior to the operation, the MGB Region 2 directed an investigat­ion of the ongoing small-scale mining operations within the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) contract area of mining firm FCF Minerals Corp.

Subsequent­ly, the Mgb-region 2 probe showed that the said firm has not yet utilized or developed the said area.

Given the location, Ancheta pointed out that the mining area cannot be declared as a “Minahang Bayan” site.

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