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MGB-9 orders stoppage of illegal gold mining in Baliguian town

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Local small-scale miners looking for gold ores were ordered to stop illegal mining activities in Pigbogololan area in the rural town of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte early this month after being served a cease and desist order by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

MGB information officer Emma Deverala said the order, signed by Regional Director Alfredo Relampagos came after complaints of illegal mining were raised by TVI Resource Development Philippines, a mining firm operating in the vicinity. The area Sitio Malusok, Barangay Kilalaban, believed to have rich mineral deposits is covered for mining expansion under TVI’s Application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement.

The complaint was reinforced on February 12 this year when a military checkpoint in Mambong, Barangay Candis, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte apprehended a truckload of an estimated 500 sacks of materials alleged to be gold ores, on its way to be processed in nearby R.T. Lim municipality.

Illegal small-scale mining has been rampant in the said town due to beliefs that gold and other valuable minerals are present in the area, Deverala said.

The MGB has been doing a crackdown to put a stop to illegal mining in the region. Deverala shared that the Pigbogololan cease and desist order was the fourth issued this year. On February 15 and 17, similar orders were served in barangays JS Perfecto and San Fernandino in R.T. Lim municipality, and barangays Payungan, Kauswagan and Milagrosa in Alicia municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay province. The MGB works together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Army (PA), and the local government units in the areas. (by Dominic I. Sanchez - DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)




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