15 groups apply for small-scale mining contracts in Caraga

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Oct) – The Mines and Geoscience Bureau in the Caraga Region (MGB-13) has received a total of 15 small-scale mining contract applications from the different provinces in the region.

Engr. Noli Arreza, acting regional director, said four applications are from Surigao del Norte. Three are from Barangay Cansayong, Cantapoy and Hanagdong in the municipality of Malimono and one in Barangay Magsaysay in Placer town.

He said four applications are from Agusan del Sur located in the municipalities of Rosario and Bunawan.

There were also four applications from Agusan del Norte, in Barangays Del Pilar and Bayabas in Cabadbaran City; and Barangays Matinge, Kantikol and Mt. Banahaw in Santiago town.

Two applications are from Barangay Maibo and Barangay Salvacion in Butuan City.

There was one application from San Miguel town in Surigao del Sur.

Arreza said all these applications will be mining for gold and silver under groups or cooperatives.

He said two small-scale mining contracts had been issued so far by his office after they have complied with and met all the requirements. One is from Dinagat Province, which has been mining for sand chromite and chromite ore, and the other in Bunawan in Agusan del Sur that has been mining for gold with an area 593 hectares.

However, Arreza said that the small-scale mining permit of MAMBISMA, Inc. was held in abeyance by Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward “Eddiebong” Plaza pending the release of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 which up to now the Mine Industry Coordinating Council has yet to come up with as stipulated in Executive Order 79.

Under the Executive Order 79 in Section 11, it says that small-scale mining activities shall comply with RA 7076 and the Environmental Impact Statement System requirement under Presidential Decree 1586.

Before, applicants will only get permits from the office of the governor.

Pursuant to the executive order issued on July 6, 2012, operations shall be undertaken only in locations declared as “People’s Small-Scale Mining Areas,” also known as “Minahang Bayan.”

It further said that only gold, silver and chromite can be mined in these areas, and the use of mercury shall be prohibited.

Arreza said the MGB is exerting efforts to legalize all small-scale mining activities in the region but stressed that these shall be regulated.

He assured that adverse effects to the environment due to these activities could be contained as they are closely monitoring adherence to the guidelines as far as responsible and safe mining practices are concerned.