December 09, 2023

Gov’t probes Surigao mining firms


The Mines Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) formed a task force to thoroughly investigate alleged violations committed by three large-scale mining companies that endangered the lives of villagers in Surigao del Norte province.

Initially, top officials of MGB led by Leo Jasareno, national director of MGB, along with journalists conducted air and ground inspections on Thursday in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte to look into the operations of mining firms in the said areas.

At least three large-scale mining firms based in Surigao del Norte, including two of the country’s leading exporters of nickel ore, are facing investigation over alleged violations of environmental and health hazard laws.

The MGB chief identified the mining companies as Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC) and Claver Mining Corp., all based in Claver town, Surigao del Norte.

Director Jasareno said their investigation stemmed from the complaints of environmental groups and local officials about alleged siltation in coastal areas, pollution of water source, and health hazards in the communities where the mine companies operate.

TMC and PGMC are among the country’s leading exporters of nickel ore to Japan, China and Australia.

“We found siltation along the coastal shores in Surigao del Norte,” Jazareno said, adding “These will pose a serious threat on the environment and health to local communities”.

The MGB chief said he will send multi-partite teams to ask the companies to explain their lapses. ”If they failed to reasonably explain, then it would be a valid ground for closing down their operations,” Jazareno said.


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