April 14, 2015
DENR issues revised IRR of ‘Small-Scale Mining Act’
By: Lyndee Rose S. Basilio
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently signed the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2015-03 that provides for the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 7076, otherwise known as “People’s Small Scale Mining Act of 1991”, in an effort to stop indiscriminate small scale mining operations in the country and can evade to deprive the government of revenues from small scale mining operations.
The DAO 2015- 03 is in line with the mining policy of Aquino Administration that features mining policy reforms that ensures to enforce stringent policies on environmental protection as contained in Executive Order No. 79.
In the revised IRR, contracts for small-scale mining operations shall now be issued by the Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board instead of the Provincial Governor or City Mayor that often lacks the technical expertise to understand their operations. The declaration of Minahang Bayan would be reviewed by the Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board that would be submitted to the office of the DENR Secretary for clearance.
Further, DAO No. 2015-03 limited the extraction of small scale mining of metallic materials to just three minerals namely: gold, silver and chromite.
Among the other salient features of DAO No. 2015-03 is the complete banning of the use of mercury in any phase of mineral processing. The use of hydraulicking, and compressor mining methods shall as well be prohibited.
The revised IRR also provides for centralized custom mill within the confined designated mineral processing zone inside a Minahang Bayan.
These Minahang Bayan sites will be limited to a maximum period of six years, including its renewal.
Moreover, the revised IRR also limited the qualified applicants of a Small-Scale Mining Contract to a cooperative or group of small scale miners. Thus, Small scale miners can organize themselves into a group or cooperatives and apply for the establishment of Minahang Bayan sites in their locality.
Likewise, the DAO 2015- 03 allows the establishment of Minahang Bayan in areas covered by large-scale mining applications that have been denied but with pending appeals, provided that royalties shall be paid in escrow, while awaiting for the final resolution of the said appeals.
It further requires the Small-Scale Mining Contractors to pay a Government Share in the amount to be set by the Board, on top of the payment of the usual taxes and it mandates to require mineral processors to secure Mineral Processing Licenses from the Board.
DAO No. 2015- 03 aims to transform the small scale mining operations in the country to be a more responsible sector in the mining industry that can contribute to the improvement of the country.
DAO No. 2015- 03 took effect on April 2, 2015.
MGB R02 conducts IEC campaign among Nueva Vizcayanos
By: Lyndee Rose S. Basilio
In an effort to inform the constituents of Barangay Didipio regarding the underground operation of OceanaGold Philippines Inc., the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 02 (MGB R02) conducted Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign held on January 24, 2015 at Didipio Multi Purpose Hall at Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.
The IEC campaign was in response to the request of the constituents of Brgy, Didipio to conduct an IEC drive on their barangay through a Barangay General Assembly Meeting.
According to Alfredo Pugong Jr., Brgy. Captain of Didipio, there is an on-going petition against the underground operation of OceanaGold spearheaded by Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA), an anti-mining group in Nueva Vizcaya and linked with Annvik, a Non- Government Organization (NGO).
The petitioners believed that once the underground operation starts, the OceanaGold can build tunnels at any direction to extract minerals extending to adjacent barangays of Nueva Vizcaya. This raised an alarm to the public regarding the mining operations of OceanaGold in Nueva Vizcaya that allegedly would cause safety and environmental problems in the province.
Prior to the Barangay Assembly Meeting, Engr. Geoffrey Prado, Engineer III, Engr. Antonio Chumacog, Engineer III and Mr. Demetrio Corsino, Community Affairs Officer II (CAO) conducted dialogue with the concerned OGPI personnel on January 23, 2015 to discuss the actual presentation of their underground development plan.
During the barangay assembly meeting, Engr. Anabelle Punzalan of OceanaGold presented the scope of Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) and the PDMF area geology and mineralization, she also discussed the optimized mine design and site overview of the underground tunnel.
Engr. Punzalan also discussed the limit operations as to the distance of boulevard from open pit and distance of boulevard from underground operation. She also talked about the ramps and mining methods and underground mine plan decline to enlighten further the constituents regarding their underground operation.
On the other hand, Engr. Prado explained that the underground plan presented to the constituents is the same plan submitted and approved by the MGB office. He elaborated that the underground plan is only under the open pit and does not extend at any direction of Didipio or adjacent barangays.
Further, he said that they have to do the underground mining to extract the minerals down below the open pit.
Prado added that it will not be realistic to do it all with open pit for it would incur a lot of waste materials and would no longer be economical.
Permits for the underground operation were already issued by the MGB and Environment Management Bureau (EMB).
Geosciences bureau region 2 holds PMRB Conference
By: Lyndee Rose S. Basilio
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan (MGB) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 02 (MGB R02) recently held a Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) – Cagayan Conference at Pulsar Hotel, Alimanao Hills, Penablanca, Cagayan last November 27, 2014.
Dubbed as “Facing the Challenges of Responsible Mining,” the conference aims to forge knowledge on mining policies and mining situations in Cagayan.
Mario Ancheta, regional director of MGB R02, said the conference is anchored on the advocacy of responsible management of mineral resources and responsible mining in region 2.
“ I am thankful to the higher ups for creating policies that will promote responsible mining here in Cagayan,” Environment and Natural Resources Officer Robert Adap said in his opening message.
Atty. Socrates Bosi, Legal Officer of MGB R02 discussed mining situation here in Cagayan. Maribeth Tumaliuan, Mining Examiner III of MGB gave updates of various mining policies while Engr. Raymond Carreon discussed the Cagayan River Mineral Reservation (MinRes) project.
“ We need to conserve the country’s mineral resources that can enhace our way of living and MinRes project is the answer,” Engr. Carreon emphasized during his lecture.
The conference was participated in by the deputized Mining Officers of the Municipalities of Cagayan, Provincial and Natural Environment Resources Officers, members of the PMRB Cagayan, MGB employees and other representatives from various regional agencies.
‘Floods in Aparri town not caused by black sand mining’- MGB
by Lyndee Rose S. Basilio
TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN- On allegation that black sand mining is still in place here in Cagayan, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 02 assured that all black sand mining operations are already suspended indefinitely due to violations and compliance to Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) Resolution No. 4 calling for the adoption of measures to immediately address black sand mining operations not only in the region but in the entire country.
PNP Regional Command and MGB Regional Task Force Stop Illegal Mining Operation
The Philippine National Police Regional Command headed by RPSB Commander P/Supt. Reiner Medina, a deputized Mining Officer, raided an illegal mining operation at Baua, Gonzaga, Cagayan on or about 3 o’clock in the morning of June 16, 2014. Caught in the act of processing magnetite sand without permit is a certain Sigma Rock Corporation.
After the information reached Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta, he immediately dispatched members of the Regional Task Force led by Assistant Team Leader Socrates L. Bosi in the area for proper disposition of the confiscated pieces of equipment.
GSD CHIEF EDUCATES LGU OFFICERS ON UNDERSTANDING GEOHAZARD MAPS
On a Seminar Workshop on Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment and the formulation of the Local Climate Change Action Plan held at JAPI Traveller's Hotel, Cauayan City, Isabela, last September 3-5, 2014, "Understanding Geohazard Maps and Spatial Data", was extensively discussed and lectured by Chief Geologist Felicitas V. Piligan before the LGU Officers of the Province of Isabela. The 55 participants included Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, Municipal Planning and Development Officers, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers and Municipal Social Worker Development Officers among others . With the aim of increasing the awareness and preparedness of the LGUs on various natural hazards, as well as to inform the public on the proper use of the geohazard maps, Chief Geologist, FV Piligan thoroughly explained the geohazard maps indicating which areas are prone to natural hazards like landslides, flooding and ground subsidence. According to her, “though geohazards cannot be totally prevented, their impact on people and the environment may be lessened or mitigated with proper information and dissemination”.The seminar workshop was sponsored by Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Office No.02 as part of their mandate to assist the Local Government Units in the formulation, planning and implementation of the (LGUs) local climate change action plans in their respective areas of jurisdiction. #imee gatan agaloos