By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Small-scale mines operating under a Minahang Bayan contract with the government will soon face stricter conditions on the disposal of their residual stockpiles.
A statement showed that in a bid to improve regulation of small-scale mining operations in the country, Mines and Geosciences Burea (MGB) has released an order requiring the monitoring of undisposed residual stockpiles outside mining sites.
The newest directive from MGB was implemented through Department Administrative Order 2019-19 (DAO 2019-19), which is meant to speed up the environmental restoration both during and after mining operations by the Minahang Bayan.
A Minahang Bayan is a government-regulated cooperative of small-scale miners organized in a certain area or region.
Under the new DAO, small-scale mining operations will now have to meet stricter conditions in the disposal of residual stockpiles or ores previously extracted but not yet disposed during the mining contract.
The disposal will also be implemented under a required Environmental Management Plan (EMP) which miners must submit to report their environmental management objectives and their commitment to protect and rehabilitate the disturbed environment during disposition of residual stockpiles.
The latest move of MGB follows a multi-step campaign to increase the regulation of small-scale mining in addition to stricter policing of the entire industry.
“We understand the negative view of mining, but we want the public to know that mining is not the same as it was before the Mining Act of 1995,” MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano said.