LEGAZPI CITY - Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. V (MGB R.O.-V) Regional Director Engr. Guillermo A. Molina, Jr. IV issued Special Order no. 2019-095 to conduct inventory of small-scale mining and to verify the alleged illegal Chinese nationals involved in mining operations in the Provinces of Camarines Norte and Masbate.

To determine the extent of these sites, MGB-V technical personnel conducted a site inventory of small-scale mining areas in the Provinces of Camarines Norte and Masbate.

In the Camarines Norte Province, the small-scale mining sites are located at Barangays Casalugan, Tugos, Palanas, Tawig and Batobalani in Paracale; Barangays San Isidro, Sta. Elena, Luklukan Sur, Luklukan Norte, San Rafael and Sta. Rosa Sur in Jose Panganiban; and Barangay Masalong in Labo.

The inventory report mentioned the following findings/observations namely:

1. There are 44 small-scale mining operators inventoried, 20 sites of which are active; 4 are inactive and 20 sites remains sporadic;
2. 31 operators have Mineral Processing plants while 11 operators do not have processing plants;
3. The commodity of these operation is gold;
4. Four (4) out of 44 operators in Camarines Norte are being operated by Chinese Nationals in Barangay Casalugan; Barangay Tawig; Barangay Batobalani; and Barangay San Rafael.

In the Masbate Province, the inventoried small-scale mining and processing plants are located in Barangays Talaba-an, Tinago, Capsay, Puro, Manamoc, Ambolong, Syndicate, Luy-a, and Balete in Aroroy, Masbate.

The Team witnessed the following findings/observations namely:

1. Underground mining and Mineral Processing Plants are being undertaken in Barangays Talaba-an and Tinago;
2. Exploration by mechanical shaft sinking with no exploration permit were being undertaken in Barangay Capsay that is being operated by a Chinese national;
3. Operational underground mining by shaft sinking with ball mill operators are also present in Barangay Syndicate;
4. Processing plants were also present in Barangays Puro, Manamoc and Ambolong;
5. Further, a small-scale mine site in Barangay Syndicate that is being operated by a cooperative that has been operating for ten (10) years with no ECC and valid permit to conduct mining was also inspected.

Both provinces have the same recommendation from the team, as follows:

1. This Office shall issue a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) to small-scale miners who operates without a mining permit.
2. To endorse to the other Agencies concerned for appropriate action; and
3. To reiterate the issued Deputation Order that was issued by this Office to PNP Provincial Offices to strengthen the implementation against illegal small-scale mining in the said Provinces.

Photos taken in Purok 5, Barangay Tugos, Paracale, Camarines Norte during the small-scale mining operation inventory in the Province of Camarines Norte.


Photos taken in Barangay Talaba-an, Aroroy, Masbate during the small-scale mining operation inventory in the Province of Masbate

This activity which consists of conduct of inventory of small-scale miners Regionwide intends to determine the delineation of sectors eligible as recipients and beneficiaries of “Minahang Bayan”.