No mining operation in Balangiga, mayor says

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

BALANGIGA, Eastern Samar -- Mayor Viscuso de Lira said he is for mining as long as it is responsible one and will not destroy the natural beauty of the environment and will not affect the source of livelihood of his constituents.

The mayor said as of the moment, there is no mining operation or exploration activity in his area compared to some towns in Eastern Samar and in Leyte. Mining and exploration activities had been the center of issues in local legislators' discussion in their regular sessions.

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“The minerals that are explored and mined are God given resources which we need to utilize,” Mayor de Lira said.

“But if we are going to get this we must use it in a proper way and we cannot just get these minerals without proper study because this might destroy peoples’ lives and livelihood,” he added.

The mayor revealed that there is a mining firm who asked for an exploration permit from his office, but there was still no action on the said matter.

De Lira added that the mining company wishes to conduct exploration activity had sought for his permit after it had complied with the posting requirement of law but he asked them to go back to the office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“They had already complied with the posting requirements in 2007 and they sought for my approval but during that time I was not the mayor yet so I asked them to go back with the process and re-post again their application for exploration,” Mayor de Lira said.

He added that aside from the said exploration permit from the mining, no other mining company had sought issuance of permit from his office.

Among the minerals said to be found in the grounds of Balangiga are nickel and chromites.

De Lira said in the 70s until 80s there was mining operation in his municipality but it eventually stopped its operation. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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