October 11, 2018
ITOGON, Benguet – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has temporarily halted the shut down small-scale mining and will visit the area this weekend to talk to those affected if the closure of their activities will be finalized.
This was a revealed by a source even as “Operation Itogon” of the National Task Force Mining Challenge (NTFMC), which the DENR heads, closed 539 tunnels out of the more than 1,000 inventoried.
Ralph Pablo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional director-in the Cordilleras, said at least 335 ball mills were cordoned, 33 kilograms of cyanide seized, and 64,214 sacks of estimated mineral ore obtained.
At least 50 persons died in a landslide in the area caused by a typhoon a few weeks ago, prompting the government to shut down small scale mines in Benguet and in the Cordilleras area starting October 1
Around 20,000 small scale miners were affected by the move.
Operation Itogon has shut down active mine tunnels with signages of mine closure and yellow lines cordoned in the entry points. At least six small-scale miners were caught and are facing violations of the mining law. DMS
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