Chinese mining firm no longer operating

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

THERE’S no case filed yet against a Chinese-owned mining company operating in Cagayan de Oro City’s upland village, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said Tuesday.

Engr. Daniel Belderol, officer-in-charge of the MGB’s mine management division in Northern Mindanao, said the mining firm has stopped its operations at present.

Belderol said that earlier this year, the MGB created a multi-sectoral task force to inspect the firm after the bureau received report about the mining operation.

In its inspection last February 14, 2013, the MGB, together with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) and the Cagayan de Oro city police, discovered that the mining company is still operating.

MGB then issued a cease and desist order to stop the mining firm’s operation.

“As of now, we have no case against (the Chinese company) because their mining plant stopped operating upon the issuance of the cease and desist order from our office,” Belderol said.

“Nituman sila sa cease and desist order (They followed the cease and desist order),” said Belderol.

Belderol added that based on their recent inspections after the issuance of the order, they found out that the equipment in the area have not been used for a long time.

Edwin Dael, chief of the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro), confirmed the information from MGB that the Chinese-owned mining company stopped its mining operations.

Dael added his staff from Clenro visited the area for inspection and found out that the equipment of the said mining plant is already rusty.

“Their bulldozer is already rusting as you can see the scoop,” said Dael while showing Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro photos taken by his staff during an ocular inspection.

‘In good faith’

Rodante Felina, officer in-charge of MGB-Northern Mindanao’s mining environment and safety division, said the establishment of the mining plant was “in good faith.”

Felina said the mine processing plant was first established by Nahiliran and Monique small-scale mining.

“Nahiliran and Monique have small-scale mining permit that was issued by the previous administration,” said Felina.

Belderol added the Chinese company is more likely the eighth financier of the mine processing plant since Nihiliran and Monique.

However, Felina said their small-scale mining permit expired (this year) by the time the Chinese-owned company financed the mining plant.

“Upon expiration, they should have the mineral processing permit (MPP),” said Felina.

Felina added the MPP cannot be renewed following Executive Order 79 (EO 79), series of 2012, issued by President Benigno Aquino III and the Minahang Bayan Law.

“The Minahang Bayan Law limits mining only to gold, silver and chromite,” said Felina.

Belderol said that under the law, copper mining is prohibited, in which the Chinese-owned company was mining in the hinterland.

Application for mining

The cease and desist order stated that the company filed for a MPP to the MGB.

However, the application lacked the requirements like the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ certificate of precondition, among others.

The order also stated that EMB has “… identified with clear and convincing evidence certain persons who are actively engaged in these illegal activities…”

“Further, all violators of this cease and desist order shall be charged appropriately for violations of Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act, pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code and Environmental Laws…” the order read.

The order added that the violators will suffer arrest, imprisonment and confiscation of equipment used in the illegal activities. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 04, 2013.

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