The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau has clamped down on illegal small-scale mining in Nueva Vizcaya.
The agency spearheaded the dismantling of various illegal mining equipment during a series of operations conducted against small-scale mining activities in Quezon town, Nueva Vizcaya province from July 27 to 29.
“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,” Secretary Roy Cimatu said.
The joint operations which were carried out by MGB-Region 2, DENR Region 2, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Nueva Vizcaya, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Aritao, National Bureau of Investigation-Region 2, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, in coordination with FCF Minerals Corporation, cracked down on ball mills, shafting, diesel engines, pulleys, and other equipment used in illegal small-scale mining activities at Barangay Runruno.
Mario Ancheta, MGB-Region 2 director, 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,” he said.
Prior to the operation, MGB-Region 2 directed an investigation of the ongoing small-scale mining operations within the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement contract area of mining firm FCF Minerals Corporation.
MGB said the firm has not yet utilized or developed the area, Ancheta said, adding the mining area cannot be declared as a “Minahang Bayan” site.