BAGUIO

Firm seeks help against illegal mining

SunStar File

LA TRINIDAD -- Benguet Mining Corporation, the country’s oldest mining company, has sought the assistance of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) and the Department of Environment and Natural (DENR) Resources Task Force Mining Challenge to stop the illegal mining activities in Itogon, Benguet.

On July 9, Benguet Corporation officer-in-charge Reynaldo Mendoza penned and asked the assistance of RLECC chair and Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera Director Israel Ephraim Dickson and DENR Task Force Mining Challenge head General Rodolfo Garcia.

It sought to stop illegal mining activities in Acupan, Gumatdang and Antamok in Itogon.

“We are happy to learn that the RLECC has reactivated the NTFMC in the Cordillera region for the protection of the environment and prevention of small-scale mining related disasters. We earnestly hope the RLECC will relentlessly pursue the task of stopping illegal and unsafe SSM operations in Itogon that have affected many lives and properties as a result of man-made or nature induced mining accidents,” the Benguet Corporation letter read.

It added that to prevent the repetition of the Ucab landslide that occurred in September 2018 amid Typhoon Ompong and other similar untoward incidents, they have requested the two agencies “relative to the resurgent and unregulated mining and processing activities of small-scale miners inside the patented minerals properties of the company.”

The unabated mining activities have affected the mining plans of the company and the net effect is to impede its industrial activity thereby curtailing its gold production and the earnings of its mining projects.

Benguet Corporation said outside the Acupan Contract Mining Project established in 2002, all mining and processing activities by the small-scale miners should be permanently stopped.


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