Illegal Mining Operation in Basay, Negros Oriental

The Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board (PMRB) will conduct a separate investigation on the reported illegal mining operation in Sitio Aya-aya, Barangay Maglinao in Basay, Negros Oriental.

Provincial Legal Counsel and PMRB co-chairman Erwin Vergara said they have received reports that there were already several tunnels dug in the area where currently, mining for copper and molybdenum continues.

Atty. Vergara said molybdenum is a very hard silvery metallic element used to strengthen steel alloys.

During a field survey conducted by the Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (MGB-7) and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, Charlie Fabre, chief of CENRO II, personally saw several tunnels built for mining.

Aside from the tunnels, there were manual miners scattered all over the place digging for pyrite, which reportedly sells at P0.25 centavos per kilo.

Vergara suspects that the tunnels are being used to dig for copper, gold or molybdenum, which can probably be found in the area.

The same area used to be the mining site of the then Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP).

According to Vergara, the use of mining tunnels no longer fall under the category of small-scale mining.

He clarified that the province only has so far allowed three small-scale mining operators, namely, Lorna Pazgala, Isidro Yucor and Rene Truno.

All three have complied with the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) as required by law, he added.

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Categorized | Government