DENR suspends mining operation in Mindanao


Sunstar, Cagayan de Oro

August 6, 2016

More under review

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Regina Lopez announced the suspension of Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in Surigao del Norte on Thursday, August 4. This is an aerial view of the mining site. (Photo by Erwin M. Mascariñas)

DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Regina Lopez announced the suspension of Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in Surigao del Norte and expressed more companies in Caraga region are still on review.

Lopez said the suspension of mining operations in Surigao del Norte during the session with the different civil society organizations.

“Today (August 4), we are suspending Claver Mineral in Surigao del Norte. We are also looking into and auditing three more mining groups, these are Greenstone, Taganito and SR MI. We will audit all the mines in Mindanao and we will finish this by next week,” said Lopez.

Secretary Gina Lopez. (diversityhuman.com)

Secretary Gina Lopez. (diversityhuman.com)

CMDC, which is operating in Barangay Cagdianao, Claver town in the Province of Surigao Del Norte, was suspended back in July 18, 2012 while it was operated by Shenzou Mining Group Corporation, because of excessive siltation in the area.

In September 17, 2015, Congressman Prospero Pichay, Jr. acquired 60 percent of the corporation and was elected president of the board of directors as stated in the official website of CMDC.

Lopez added the ongoing audit for the mining areas in Mindanao is not just technical.

“It does not only cover the technical aspect in auditing these mining firms but the audit also has the social aspect, if there is a community that has been suffering and affected this cannot be acceptable. We will also test the waters, evaluate the environmental compliance certificates; we are evaluating everything,” said Lopez.

Leo Jasareno, senior undersecretary of DENR and heads the mining audit team, said the auditing would end within the month.

“Hopefully we will complete everything by the end of August. We are covering in our audit 40 mining firms, 23 from Mindanao and then we will move on to the 65 non-metallic firms for audit by September,” said Jasareno.

Jasareno pointed out the audit will be a basis for the final judgment whether to allow these companies to operate.

“We will wait for the audit to finish, it is a comprehensive study and that will finally give us a guide on how to come up with the decision,” he said.

The three mining operations based in Caraga Region mentioned by Lopez are Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) which is operating in the town of Claver in Surigao del Norte while Greenstone Resources Corporation (GRC) is in Tubod town, Surigao del Norte and San Roque Metals Incorporation (SRMI) is based in the coastal town of Tubay, Agusan del Norte.

President Rodrigo Duterte during the environmental forum cited how SRMI mining operation has allegedly destroyed some areas in Mindanao.