Large-scale offshore mining in Lingayen Gulf bared, hit
UNKNOWN to the coastal communities in Pangasinan, a mining exploration in a large area of the Lingayen Gulf is ongoing following the signing of a technical financial agreement between the company Iron Ore and Vanadium Resources (Phils.) Inc. and the national government last November 25, 2020.
This was bared during the Question Hour of the Sangguniang Panlungsod attended by officials of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional office last week.
The company applied to extract five million tons of materials per year for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years for its Pangasinan Offshore Magnetite Project that seeks to extract metallic and non-metallic materials over a 10,064 hectares of the Lingayen Gulf covering Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Binmaley, Dagupan City and San Fabian, some two to three kilometers from the shoreline.
According to Mario Tamario Jr., legal officer of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional office, the company, a wholly Filipino-owned, has filed an application to undertake large-scale offshore mining activity way back in September 15, 2015 but it was only on November 25, 2020 when the national government signed it, and forwarded to the EMB regional office on December 16, 2020.
He said the contract is for the exploration, development and utilization of gold, copper, nickel, chromite and other raw materials that could be found in the area.
Isabel Perez, chief of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) section of EMB regional office, explained that the ongoing mining exploration by the proponent is part of its ongoing feasibility studies in the area to determine if the materials to be extracted in the area has commercial value.
Since the project is considered an environmentally critical project, Perez said the proponent is required to seek an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), a process that requires evaluation of results of public scoping (started last Sep. 20), public hearings in all affected areas and determination of the conduct of environmental impact assessment.
Tamario told the provincial board and other parties objecting to the project that they can raise their objections during the public hearings.
He said once the ECC is issued, the company will commence its full-blast extraction activities by the second quarter of 2022 and LGUs are part of the group that will monitor compliance by the company of its ECC and any violation by the company will be a ground for the ECC’s cancellation.
Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil of Lingayen, president of the league of municipal mayors of Pangasinan, admitted that Vanadium Resources already called on him to present the project before DENR could provide the government’s side.
He said two other companies called on him for a project to dredge and operate along the Agno river, from its mouth all the way to various inland towns for the purpose of de-silting the river as well as recover magnetized sand and other valuable materials there.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan subsequently filed resolutions urging the DENR to be transparent in its process in granting ECC (2) and to provide the SP all pertinent communications regarding the company’s application for ECC permit and public hearings.
The SP urged local executives of Sual. Labrador, Lingayen, Binmaley, Dagupan City and San Fabian to be transparent and circumspect mindful of the best interest of their constituents. (Leonardo Micua)
BARANGAYS TO BE AFFECTED BY MINING IN LINGAYEN GULF
- Baybay Sur
- Baybay Norte
- Pangapisan North
- Pangapisan Sur
- Libsong East
- Baybay Lopez
- San Isidro Norte
- Bonuan Boquig
- Bonuan Binloc
- Bonuan Gueset
- Pugaro Suit
Share your Comments or Reactions
Powered by Facebook Comments