Black sand mining operations halted

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


BACOLOR -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Luzon Office has recently ordered the suspension of the illegal black sand processing operations of a Chinese mining company in the province of Pampanga.

A Sun.Star Pampanga source identified the mining firm as Xing Fufa Mining Corporation, which has been illegally extracting black sand minerals near the FVR Megadike in Barangay Maliwalo, Bacolor town.

The DENR’s order was in accordance to the Mining Act of 1995 which inhibits anyone from extracting black sand minerals near the boundary of a reservoir.

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According to the DENR, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) inspected the operation site of the said mining company.

Engineer Rey Cruz of the DENR MGB Region 3 said their office received a report about the illegal activities a week before the end of July 2014.

“The MGB told them to stop as soon as we discovered during our inspection that they do not have the documents which authorize them to extract black sand,” shared Cruz, adding that the MGB also seized the stockpiles of black sand near the mining company’s plants.

Meanwhile, Rex Lu, Associate Manager of the Xing Fufa Mining Corporation said their firm has officially stopped its black sand mining operations following the order of DENR MGB. Currently, Lu added that the Xing Fufa is restricted to quarrying white sand of 4mm size.

Last April 2014, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) released a memorandum which instructed the local government units to cancel the sand and gravel permits of the mining companies involved in processing black sand.

The said memorandum, Cruz said, aims to prevent the degradation of coastlines and unwarranted extraction of minerals.

“Black sand or magnetite sand is usually mixed with the lahars which covered the province of Pampanga after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo,” explained Cruz.

Aside from the Xing Fufa Mining Corporation, there are four other mining companies which were reportedly extracting black sand in Manuali, Porac Apalit, and Floridablanca.

The investigation of the DENR MGB showed that the mining companies have sand and gravel permits and operating agreements but are not authorized to operate the said mineral processing. The authorities said the mining companies may face charges of theft of minerals.

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