Mining Explorations in Capiz

Timeline

March 1998 – Minera Mount Isa Philippines, operator of Australian-owned Teresa Marble Corp. has been given a permission by DENR- Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to explore some 2,400 hectares of forest land in Barangays Quinabonglan and Cana-pian in Maayon, Capiz.

August 27, 1999 – Capiz Local Government Unit passed and approved an Ordinance No. 6, S. 1999  declaring a moratorium on all large-scale mining activities and the processing of applications for the same in the Province of Capiz for a period of fifteen (15) years and imposing penalties for violation thereof. This ordinance was signed by Zoe Herrera, SP Secretary, Approved by Governor Vicente Bermejo and Attested by Vice-Governor Victor Tanco.

June 8, 2007 –  the Capiz provincial board approved Provincial Ordinance No. 69 – Environment Code, which allows mineral exploration and development activities over areas granted with permits by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This is also in relation to the application of a Mining Company dated February 8, 2007 for mining exploration in parts of Maayon, Capiz.

September 6, 2007 – The Roxas city council approved a resolution, sponsored by Councilor Herbert Chu, supporting Provincial Ordinance No. 6, series of 1999, which declared a moratorium on all large-scale mining activities and the processing of mining applications in Capiz for 15 years that could be extended up to 50 years.

This resolution also sought the revocation of Provincial Ordinance 69. Sigma, Pontevedra and other municipalities of Capiz passed similar resolutions that echoed the sentiments of militant groups Madiaas Ecological Movement (MEM) and the Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-Capiz).

March 2009 –  The House Committee on Natural Resources and Ecology was directed to conduct a consultative meeting and a study by virtue of House Resolution No. 26 authored by 2nd District Congressman Fredenil H. Castro.

The said House Resolution is entitled “Resolution Directing the Committee on Natural Resources, Ecology to conduct a study, in aid of legislation on the cumulative and long-term impact of mining activities in the province of Capiz.”

March 24, 2009 – Capiz Provincial Board Members with the DENR conducted a consultation, dialog and out of town session with the barangay captains, residents and gold panners of Barangays Canapian, Guinbialan, Quinabonglan and Tuboran of held at Brgy. Canapi-an, Maayon, Capiz.

Local residents of the Brgy. Canapi-an, Maayon Capiz showed their sentiments and stand on the issues about mining.  They are against the Exploration and Large Scale Mining, but they are asking for consideration to allow them do gold panning.  It has been known that there is an existing moratorium and ceased and deceased order in mining in Capiz. No permits has been allowed by the LGU, but despite of this, there where still illegal mining operations in Maayon and some parts of Capiz.

Residents are  earning  P100-P200 pesos a day by doing gold panning.  They usually do these during the off season harvest of their corn crops on summer.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Capiz advised them to form a cooperative and apply for Small Scale Mining in which Environmental Compliance Certificate is required with a fee of P40,000-P50,000.00.

DENR- Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) approved the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of the following mining companies to operate in Capiz based on their MPSA in Region VI as of March 31, 2008:

  • Teresa Marble Corporation
    MPSA No: 107-98-VI
    Location: Dumarao, Maayon, Pres. Roxas and Pontevedra Capiz;  Lemery and Sara, Iloilo
    Area (HAS):4,719.7500
    Commodity: Copper and Gold
    Date Approved: 3/13/1998
    Stage of Mining: Exploration
  • Quarry Ventures Phils. Incorporated
    MPSA No: 129-98-VI
    Location: Sara, Iloilo; Pontevedra and Pres. Roxas, Capiz
    Area (HAS):8,100.0000
    Commodity: Copper and Gold Date
    Approved: 6/25/1998
    Stage of Mining: Exploration
  • SGA Mining Corporation (Not Yet Registered – Cancelled with finality pursuant to DMO No. 2005-13
    MPSA No: 037-96-VI
    Location: Balasan and Carles, Iloilo; Pilar, Capiz
    Area (HAS):2,673.0000
    Commodity: Diorite and Dimension Stone
    Date Approved: 2/16/1996
    Stage of Mining: Exploration

As of now, there is no existing Provincial Mining Regulatory Board that has been formed by the local government of Capiz that will monitor and deregulate the operations of these Small Scale Miners.

Based on the Republic Act No. 7076, the Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board is hereby created under the direct supervision and control of the DENR Secretary. A provincial/city mining regulatory board, herein called the Board, which shall be the implementing agency of the Department, and shall exercise the following powers and functions, subject to review by the Secretary:

(a) Declare and segregate existing gold-rush areas for small-scale mining;

(b) Reserve future gold and other mining areas for small-scale mining;

(c) Award contracts to small-scale miners;

(d) Formulate and implement rules and regulations related to small-scale mining;

(e) Settle disputes, conflicts or litigations over conflicting claims within a people’s small-scale mining area, an area that is declared a small-mining; and

(f) Perform such other functions as may be necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of this Act.

 The Board shall be composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources representative as Chairman; and the representative of the governor or city mayor, as the representative of the governor or city mayor, as the case may be, one (1) small scale mining representative, one (1) big-scale mining representative, and the representative from a non government organization who shall come from an environmental group, as members.

The representatives from the private sector shall be nominated by their respective organizations and appointed by the Department regional director. The Department shall provide the staff support to the Board.

No records of permits issued by LGU’s in Capiz for Small Scale Mining Sand and Gravel and Quarry as of December 2007 has been reported to MGB.

According to RA 7076, or the People’s Small-Scale Mining (SSM) Act of 1991, small-scale mining operations are those “that rely on labor, that use simple implements and methods and that do not use explosives or heavy mining equipment within areas of not more than 20 hectares.” The maximum annual production allowed to be extracted from designated areas could amount to no more than 50,000 dry metric tons of the ore, or 50,000 dry metric tons in the case of non-metallic minerals.

But the application for a small-scale mining permit only requires the approval of local government units (LGUs), and not of national and regional government agencies such as the DENR and MGB. Also, small-scale miners are required to pay taxes only to local government.

Applying for large-scale permits such as an MPSA and FTAA would require an applicant to secure an environment compliance certificate (ECC) from the DENR, which requires for an environmental impact assessment to be conducted, and for an environment protection program as well as a social development plan for host communities to be designed, among other legal requirements. Also, large mining projects require more time for dealing with the bureaucracy, hence, bigger grease money to be shelled out for corrupt officials at the local and national level. Thus a small-scale mining agreement, though covering only small concession areas, is faster to process, less stringent, and easier to obtain. With RA 7076’s lenient provisions, big mining companies have found a way to put up more convenient and faster operations within the communities.

As the national government becomes more lenient with small-scale mining, the more LGUs and local government officials will profit- both legally and illegally-from small scale mining as opposed to large-scale mining projects.

Effects of Mining:

  • Human Rights Violation
  • Legal Harassments
  • Environmental Devastation
  • Upsurge in resistance against mining plunder
  • Armed struggle

 


MINERAL AGREEMENTS  (Republic Act No. 7942 – Philippine Mining Act of 1995)

Modes of Mineral Agreement

For purposes of mining operations, a mineral agreement may take the following forms as herein defined:

a. Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) is an agreement where the Government grants to the contractor the exclusive right to conduct mining operations within a contract area and shares in the gross output. The contractor shall provide the financing, technology, management and personnel necessary for the implementation of this agreement.

b. Co-production agreement is an agreement between the Government and the contractor wherein the Government shall provide inputs to the mining operations other than the mineral resource.

c. Joint venture agreement is an agreement where a joint-venture company is organized by the Government and the contractor with both parties having equity shares. Aside from earnings in equity, the Government shall be entitled to a share in the gross output.

A mineral agreement shall grant to the contractor the exclusive right to conduct mining operations and to extract all mineral resources found in the contract area. In addition, the contractor may be allowed to convert his agreement into any of the modes of mineral agreements or financial or technical assistance agreement covering the remaining period of the original agreement subject to the approval of the Secretary.

Sources:


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