DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 June) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 11 will get test samples from the riverbed of Manat River in Compostela Valley province for the presence of precious metals like gold, silver, chromite and copper from the waste discharges of mineral processors.
Engineer Richard Aquino, engineer 3 at the Mines Management Division of MGB 11, told Kapihan sa Philippine Information Agency 11 Friday that they had scheduled a six-day mineral survey in different locations along the river next month.
“The directive to us by the MGB Central Office is to conduct a mineral survey to evaluate the river and to determine if there is any metallic content like precious metals like in the river,” Aquino said.
He said small mining processors from “Minahang Bayan” in Tagpura, Camanlangan, New Bataan and Bunlang and New Leyte in Maco town are possibly discharging wastes into the Manat River.
He said the survey was necessary to determine if the river is heavily silted or if it’s economically viable to recover the precious metals.
He said the de-siltation as a flood control measure would be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will have to decide on the recovery of precious metals.
“We will determine the strategic sampling locations that can represent the entire river,” he said.
He said test samples will be brought for laboratory examination by a metallurgist at the MGB central office in Manila.
A similar survey has been tentatively scheduled in Davao River in August, he said.
Aquino said MGB experts who conducted a metal survey along Naboc River last year, where wastes from mineral processors operating in Barangay Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley were discharged, found precious metals such as gold and silver.
Mt. Diwalwal, a gold rush area, covers 729 hectares of the 8,100-ha Diwalwal Mineral Reservation and is declared as an environmentally critical area under Presidential Proclamation 297 of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2002. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)