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Mining exploration permits should remain within bounds, says Leyte guv

By Provincial Media Relations Center
August 17, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said they do not stand in opposition to applications for mining explorations in several Leyte towns that currently sits with the regional office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

The requirement however, the governor said, such activity would remain only as an “exploration” and not full “commercial mining”.

The latter, he said, would need to have the full consent and support of people involved particularly the residents of the community.

“We do not oppose mining explorations as long as the companies would operate within the stipulations and condition of the exploration permit granted and they have not started full mining operation in the area,” Gov. Petilla said.

This he declared amid calls from various sectors in the province to defer the approval of mining exploration permit applied for by at least four mining companies to explore possible mineral deposits in a number of Leyte towns.

For the part of the province, the governor said, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Leyte has already launched inquiry into the said applications and has even a pending schedule for another consultative meeting with mining companies applying for permits with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

He also lauded the efforts of the lawmakers of the province in appraising the situation and their intent to craft a resolution as regards mining in the province of Leyte after these consultative meetings.

The new schedule for a consultative meeting is set this August 17.

The provincial board is set on having a thorough knowledge on the mining activities that these companies are set to conduct before passing a resolution endorsing the mining exploration application.

Being summoned by the provincial board to appear this August 17 are Oregon Mining and Development Corp. and Lazarus Mining Corp., two of the three mining companies with pending application permits for offshore exploration in the first and second districts of Leyte.

Northern Access Mining, Inc. (NAMI) already made its appearance during the first consultative meeting held last July 27.

These companies are applying for exploration of magnetite sand and other associated mineral deposits in the northern part of Leyte’s coastal areas covering Capoocan, Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel and Babatngon.

Several members of the Provincial Board expressed unease over the proposed offshore explorations especially in the municipalities facing Carigara Bay as they learned from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that Carigara Bay is declared as a marine sanctuary and being such would not allow large-scale fishing and large-scale mining.