MGB gives go signal to FCF, vows for responsible mining

By: Lyndee Rose S. Basilio


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II has already allowed FCF Minerals Corporation, a British-owned mining firm in Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya to start its commercial operation.

MGB Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta said that he approved the commencement of commercial production of FCF gold-molybdenum project. 

The Regional Director said that the company has initially set their intent for commercial operation earlier of 2016, but has to be delayed to ensure their compliance on mining standards.

During the first quarter of 2009, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) endorsed to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the application for large-scale mine operation of FCF Minerals.

In March 2009, then DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr. endorsed the conversion of the exploration permit into a Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA). The agreement has a term of 25 years and renewable for another term not exceeding 25 years.

An FTAA contract granted the company the exclusive rights to explore, mine, utilize, and transport the mineral products from the contract area. The FTAA of FCF was signed on Sept. 19, 2009.

“Series of exploration activities were conducted by the company. FCF Minerals has also filed in MGB Region II their application for Sworn Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) with complete mandatory requirements. After conducting our initial evaluation, we endorsed said application to our central office for further review,” Ancheta said.

Last October 18, 2011, DENR approved their DMPF that costs $700 million. After the approval of their DMPF, the company has started its development stage. FCF has already spent $ 149 million for its construction and development stage, aside from other projects committed by the mining company as part of their Community Development Program (CDP).

“FCF submitted their Declaration of Commencement of Commercial Operations (DCCO) in September 2016, but we needed to conduct validation and wait for the results of its debugging (test run),” Ancheta said.

MGB Region II issued a partial suspension on its construction works particularly on its Residual Storage Impoundment (RSI) after it was being damaged by Typhoon Lando in 2015.

“We cannot allow mining companies in Cagayan Valley region to continue for lack of compliance in congruent on our existing laws and regulations in mining,” he added.

RD Ancheta said that the company has already complied the demand of the bureau to present a rehabilitation plan on its RSI and a clean-up plan on its Malilibeg dumpsite.

After the conduct of series of verification and validation, the bureau lifted the suspension on April 2015. 

“We lifted the suspension for rehabilitation purposes with corresponding conditions that are part of the lifting order,” the regional director stated.

FCF Minerals begins its mining operations after more than a decade of exploration and development. The company’s DCCO was signed last Monday, July 17, 2017.

Based on the Feasibility Study of the company, it confirms the viability of the project that intends to extract an average of 96,700 ounces of gold per annum within 10 years of mine life.

On the other hand, Runruno Operations Manager, Peter Storey assured the various stakeholders of their full cooperation to comply on mining laws and environmental regulations.

In his interview with Philippine Information Agency, Storey said that the company is committed to take the major steps to transform the previous negative stigma of mining into positive undertaking through its compliance to responsible mining standards.

“It is committed to the effective stewardship, protection, and enhancement of the resource endowments in and around the areas where it operates, and conducts its business in a manner which will continuously uphold human development and dignity,” the Runruo operations manager said.

FCF Minerals Corporation is the second large-scale mine in the Cagayan Valley region. The other mining firm, OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated, an Australian mining firm with gold-copper project is located in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces that started its commercial operations in 2013.

MGB celebrates women’s month

Women1The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II organized activities in celebration of the National Women’s Month this March.
Highlighted in the celebration of women’s month was the cook festival that was open to all female employees of the Bureau.

The participants were divided into four teams with eight members each.
 The contested dish was fish sinigang while another dish meal of the team’s choice was also presented to the judges as side dish.

The dishes were judged by: taste- 70 percent; visual appeal- 15 percent; and observance of kitchen sanitation- 15 percent.

 Bearing this year’s theme: “ We Make Change, Work for Women,” Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person, Ms. Felicitas V. Piligan said in her message to the employees that,” the cook fest is a good venue for us to empower our women considering their important roles in the kitchen; that women of today can both work and perform household chores.”

She also emphasized the importance of recognizing the contribution of women in the society through the conduct of activities that highlight the important roles of women in the society.

MGB also spearheaded a Zumba dance dubbed as hataw exercise held last March 20, 2017.

The conduct of National Women’s Month is embodied in Proclamation 222, series of 1998 that provides for the observance of the month of March as women’s role in history month.

MGB presents before sanggunian members of Nueva Vizcaya

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II (MGB RO II) presented before the sanggunian members of Nueva Vizcaya during the conduct of joint committee meeting held last March 21, 2017 at Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Peoples Hall, Provincial Capitol, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

The joint committee meeting tackled the resolution of Sangguniang Bayan of Kasibu requesting the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Nueva Vizcaya to cause appropriate action for OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) to immediately implement its rehabilitation program on its open pit mining at Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

MGB Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta and Engr. Geoffrey V. Prado attended the said joint committee. 

DENR R02 conducts management confab

By: Lynds Basilio


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR R02) conducted a two-day expanded regional management conference cum family day held on January 31- February 1, 2017 at GCT Farm Resort, Enrile, Cagayan.

The management conference was attended by the regional directors of the DENR line bureaus and attached agencies.  

In the said conference, regular targets and accomplishments of the line bureaus and its attached agencies were tackled.

OIC, Office of the Regional Director Atty. Gil A. Aromin and outgoing Regional Director Benjamin Tumaliuan were likewise present during the management conference.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau R0II Regional Director Engr. Mario A. Ancheta likewise attended the event.

MGB R02 holds fire lecture 


In connection to the observant of Fire Prevention Month during the month of March, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region II conducted a learning event on fire protection last March 27, 2017 at MGB Conference Hall.  The event was participated by the employees of the Bureau.

S/Ins. Basilio A. Pagulayan Jr., Tuguegarao City Fire Marshall served as the resource speaker who discussed on fire safety awareness particularly the three E’s of Fire Protection, triangle of fire, and the classes of fire.

Pagulayan likewise lectured on electrical fire safety by stressing the danger of octopus’ connection, long term use of extension cords, and unplugged electrical wires.

He further presented to the MGB employees how to use the fire extinguisher in case of fire by reminding the employees the phrase PASS which means: pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side.

“When your clothes catch fire, you need to stop, drop and roll,” the City Fire Marshall said to the employees.

“ We need to aware of all these things to know what to do in cases of fire emergencies, as the saying goes, ligtas ang may alam,” Pagulayan said.

nozzleAfter the lecture on fire safety, the City Marshall led the earthquake drill. The MGB personnel were instructed to drop to the ground and take cover under a sturdy table and hold until the earthquake stops. 

The scenario given was 6.6 magnitude earthquake jolted the Regional Government Center, with the aftermath of fire at the MGB grounds. 

After the earthquake drill, the City Fire Marshall headed the fire drill where employees of the bureau practiced the use of fire extinguisher. 

The drills spearheaded by the Mine, Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD) particularly the Safety Section of the Bureau aim to instil awareness to the MGB employees and to ensure their safety in cases of fire and earthquake emergencies. #LRSB