MINING EQUIPMENT used in illegal small-scale mining activity was seized and dismantled in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya in late July, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said.
The MGB said in a statement this week that the equipment included ball mills, diesel engines, pulleys, and other items, which were dismantled, while a number of small-scale miners were also apprehended.
The illegal activity was halted following joint operations by the MGB, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Nueva Vizcaya.
According to MGB Region 2 Director Mario A. Ancheta, the absence of documentation to conduct mining operations and transport minerals or mineral products and by-products is considered prima facie evidence of illegal mining.
“This shall cause the seizure or confiscation of the minerals or mineral products and by-products and the tools, conveyances, and equipment used in the commission of the offense in favor of the government,” Mr. Ancheta said.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said miners involved in illegal small-scale mining usually dig and drill without proper oversight.
“These unregulated mining activities pose a danger to the environment, and to human life,” Mr. Cimatu said.
Before the operation, the MGB had ordered an investigation into small-scale mining within the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement contract area of FCF Minerals Corp., which has not yet developed the area. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave