Small-scale miners nix mining firm's ops sans permit

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


CLOSE to 200 small-scale miners on Friday held a picket in front of the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) office on Juan Luna St., in Davao City, calling for the suspension of operations of the San Agustin Mining Company (SAMC), which allegedly has no permit to operate.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)-Southern Mindanao chairperson Pedro Arnado, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said the protesters were claiming that SAMC has appeared to have started its mining operations in Pantukan.

"Mga gagmay na mga minero gikan sa Pantukan ug sa ubang silingang sitio ang niadto sa MGB para ipadangap ang ilang pagkabalaka sa SAMC nga nagpakita nga magsugod na sila sa ilang mining pamaagi kanang pagkalot ug tunnel, (The small-scale miners from Pantukan and its neighboring sitios went to MGB to express their sentiment against SAMC which shows the start of their offensive mining through digging up tunnels)," Arnado said.

He pointed out that since the SAMC showed signs of kicking off with their operations, word has been circulating from its employees that local miners should already vacate their posts as SAMC will take over the area.

Arnado stressed that SAMC has no right to drive the local miners away from their areas as it has no permit to operate from the MGB.

"In a public hearing at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley a few days ago, they kept calling our fellow small-scale miners illegal when in fact they were not able to present any permit to operate as well. That is why we wanted to clarify it from the MGB if they are indeed allowed to operate," Arnado added.

Sun.Star Davao tried to get reactions from MGB, but its staff refused to answer to the query with the absence of their regional director Engr. Edilberto Arreza.

In the complete list of existing mineral processing permits in the country as of December 13, 2013, which is published at the website of MGB, no mining company by the name of San Agustin Mining Corporation appeared to have been granted with a permit.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 09, 2014.

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