MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 Sept) – Small-scale gold miners in at least 58 hectares in the municipality of Libona in Bukidnon being financed by foreigners are operating illegally and using mercury and cyanide, an environment official said.
Samuel Cadavos, chief of the Bukidnon Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), warned members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that the mining operations in Sitio Manlahuyan, Gango in Libona has become a complex “social, technical, environmental and political” problem.
“I ask your help to stop this problem,” he appealed to the provincial board members.
Cadavos noted that he has ordered several times the closure of the mine sites but operations keep on recurring. He warned that the operators are now armed and resisting government attempts to stop mining activities in the area.
Two groups of operators are running the mining sites – the Bukidnon Integrated Small-Scale Miners Association (BISSMA) and the Bukidnon United Small Scale Miners Association (BUSMA) – with at least 2,000 miners. But none of them obtained a valid small-scale mining permit at the provincial government, Cadavos said.
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