Operations of small scale and large scale mining are needed because there are sectors that need its products, Western Visayas director for Mines and Geosciences Bureau Leo Van Juguan, said yesterday.
Juguan, who was the guest speaker at the general assembly of the Negros Occidental Miners Permitees Association Inc., at the Golden Table Restaurant in Bacolod City, however also said that the last operation of large scale mining in Western Visayas was in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental in 2002 .
It was a gold mining operation but the miners had to halt work due to economic reasons, Juguan said.
He recalled that the value of gold was depreciating while its operational cost was increasing, so it was unprofitable for both the miners and workers.
Juguan said that miners may continue to work as long as they meet the economic, environmental, and social requirements provided in the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
He said it takes a lot of studying and investment to operate a mining project. However, quarrying, sand and gravel mining, and other forms of small scale mining are needed because some sectors need its products, like the construction firms, he also said.
Since mining is allowed by the government and is strictly regulated, operators should also take care of the environment and their social responsibilities, Juguad said.
The miners have to provide funds for environment and social development projects, he added.
NOMPAI president Michael Eusebio said the orientation aims to make its members understand the requirements of the government before they start mining operations.*LTG