By JONATHAN L MAYUGA
THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is set to order the dismantling of a Chinese mining company caught operating illegally in three towns in CamNorte.
MGB Director Leo Jasareno said the dismantling order will lead to the dismantling of the mining facilities of Bohai Top International Mining Corp.
The company’s mining operation was the subject of a raid by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the MGB recently.
A total of 14 Chinese were arrested by the NBI during the raid in Napaod, Benit and Labo, Camarines Norte.
Jasareno said all 14 suspects were charged before the Prosecutor’s Office of the Department of Justice on Friday, Feb 7.
He said the suspects were still of unknown nationality and is now the subject of further investigation by the NBI.
The joint MGB-NBI raid was done as part of the campaign to stop illegal mining in the Philippines.
This is the first time that Philippine authorities swooped down on an illegal mining operation following reports of the rampant gold smuggling by Environment Secretary Ramon JP Paje in the last quarter of 2011.
The joint MGB-NBI team had raided the processing plant of Bohai Top.
Bohai Top International Mining Corp. appears to be a subsidiary of Bohai Top General Trading Llc., a duly registered general trading company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, since 2008.
It is primarily engaged in scrap recycling and iron oxidation for import and export of several elements. Its trading products include copper, aluminum, plastic, steel, iron ore, pellet,chrome ore, copper and nickel ore. A total of six backhoes and 500 tons of copper, gold and iron concentrate worth at least US$25,000 were seized in the processing plants.
Jasareno said Bo Hai Top Mining has been operating for at least six months.
The operation, he said, has no appropriate permit provided under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and Executive Order 79.
The company also failed to show an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
“A dismantling order shall be issued by the MGB on Monday (Feb 10) to remove the processing plant,” Jasareno said.
Bohai Top has listed several projects in CamNorte on its web site, including the Napaod gold, copper, iron-ore project; Benit gold, copper, iron-ore project; Masalong large-scale gold, copper, iron-ore project; Guisican large-scale gold, copper-ore project all in the town of Labo; and Labnig large-scale gold, copper, iron project in Paracale and Larap waste-material tailings project in Mambulao town.
Jasareno said the MGB and the NBI are now looking into all potential illegal mining in CamNorte as part of the mission of the Fact-Finding Committee on Illegal Mining of the DENR and the Mining Industry Coordinating Council. – Business Mirror