Thursday, 8 December 2011

Two Mambulao gold operators shut

TWO small-scale gold processing plants in Jose Panganiban have been shut by the Department of Environment and Natural resources after being found operating with expired permits issued by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) of Camarines Norte.

The Escober and Romeo Diaz gold processing plants have been padlocked along with four other processing plants in Paracale, namely the P&F Mineral Experts Corp, Green Gold, Triple A and Talla.

The six processors were served with cease-and-desist orders by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MG) of the DENR.

The Escobar and Romeo Diaz gold processing plants have been the subject of public complaint, particularly from fishermen for allegedly polluting the Bato-Balani River in Paracale. 

Apparently, the two J Panganiban processors are operating near the Bato-Balani River where they dump their waste waters.

Fishermen in Paracale allied with “Samahang Mangingisda ng Paracale” have complained against the four processing plants in their area for polluting Paracale’s fishing ground including two major rivers – the Malaguit and Bato-Balani.

In a report to DENR Secretary Ramon J P Paje, MGB-5 Regional Director Luis B Loyola said that the issuance of CDOs came following the conduct of a joint investigation team by MGB and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), which found the mineral processing plants, except Green Gold, to be in active operation despite expired permits from the local mining regulatory board.

However, for Green Gold, Loyola said the company was closed down due to defective wastewater treatment facility.

Paje said that based on the department’s rules and regulations, any company that generates wastewater should secure a wastewater discharge permit from the EMB.
He, however, clarified that once a mining permit of a mining project expires, its wastewater discharge permit also expires with it.

“I would like reiterate our policy in DENR that any company that discharges wastewater with an expired EMB permit or no permit at all will be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Clean Water Act,” Paje explained.

Under the People’s Mining Act of 1991, the PMRB is in charge of issuing licenses for the operation of custom mill and other processing plants subject to the pollution control and safety standards.

The board is chaired by the MGB regional director, vice-chaired by the provincial governor, with representatives from the small-scale and large-scale mining industries and local non-government organizations (NGO) as members.


  1. the mining operations are aboon to the economy but a poison to the environment. look at marinduque. glad to know the people in romblon are against it.

  2. in our case, we need not go far. look at Larap. After the biggest iron mine Philippine Iron Mine abandoned the place, the locals were left holding an empty bag. after a time the whole place looked like a version of Mad Max desert. i saw it myself in 1982, years after PIM packed up and disappeared. there was no provision for the so-called life after the mines. well, those days these things were beyond the consciousness of the people. wala pang environmental concern ang mga tao. here in papua new guinea, people are aware. they wouldn't allow a miner to just operate without the so-called post-mine life. what will happen to us after that? the miner should have a plan for the people who would be left behind after a mine finally becomes less and less productive. those days in the 40s and 50s ecology was not a word in itself that's why the miner and the community did not have a deal on what to prepare for after the mine stopped operations.