LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A balance has to be sought in mining, said Governor Nestor Fongwan, as he pledged his full support for small-scale miners in the province.

He also tempered his statement with fair warnings of regulation for all.

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Fongwan said although the small-scale mining sector is one of the pillars of the province’s economy with millions of money coming in, safety must be observed.

“Safety comes as a priority for all small scale miners here,” said Fongwan.

He also kept monitoring small-scale mining in the province, especially

during rainy season, giving out directives to all miners not to go underground to avoid accidents and deaths.

Recently, four miners died in a spate of accidents underground; one of the fallen miners is from the province.

In 2008, small-scale mining industry in Benguet earned P250 billion for the last 15 years and around three tons of gold had been sold to accredited buyers from 2002 to 2007.

The regional environment department meanwhile hoped to push for talks between large companies to allow small scale miners to do business in their respective areas. (Ma. Elena Catajan)