50,000 metric tons of iron ore seized in Camarines Norte—MGBBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Government agents have seized a huge amount of magnetite sand (iron ore) that had been illegally mined by two companies in Camarines Norte before this was to be shipped to China.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has been preparing to conduct a confiscation proceeding on the 50,000 metric tons of magnetite sand seized in Paracale, Camarines Norte.
Uni-Dragon Mining Development Corp. (Uni-Dragon) and its business partner Philippine Bao Tong, owners of the iron ore, would be given opportunity to present evidence and “prove why the iron ore should not be confiscated in favor of the government,” MGB director Leo Jasareno said.
Last June 15, a joint team from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine National Police seized the iron ore stockpiled near the private wharf of both companies following a tip from some local government officials.
Jasareno said the iron ore was about to be shipped to China when four personnel from the MGB-Region 5 and eight police officers from the Mobile Group of PNP-Region 5 based in Legazpi City swooped down on the wharf.
The cargo ship M/V Peace Angel was seen by the raiding team anchored one kilometer offshore from the mining area, and was believed to be waiting for iron ore to be loaded into it when the team arrived at the area.
Jasareno said the companies had defied the cease and desist order issued by the MGB in 2011.
“The shipment and extraction of the magnetite sand are considered illegal because, aside from the fact that Uni-Dragon and Philippine Bao Tong could not present a Mineral Ore Export Permit (MOEP) from MGB, the mining companies are not allowed to commercially extract and dispose of the minerals because the two Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) issued to them are still under the exploration stage,” he said.
The two MPSAs were issued to the mining companies on Nov. 4, 2008, covering some 282 hectares in Barangay Bagong Bayan, Paracale in Camarines Norte, he said.
He also said mining companies have not filed an application for a declaration of mining project feasibility and mine development work program at the MGB.
In September 2011, the MGB seized some 35,000 metric tons of iron ore stockpiled by the two companies.
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Tags: confiscation , iron ore , Leo Jasareno , magnetite sand , Mines and Geosciences Bureau , Mining and quarrying , Philippine Bao Tong , Philippines - Regions , Seizure , Uni-Dragon , Uni-Dragon Mining Development Corp.