TACLOBAN CITY – The Samar provincial government has expressed opposition to the proposed mining operation in the province since it is contrary to their thrust to develop ecotourism.
Governor Reynolds Michael Tan said on Monday that since the news about the operation of bauxite mining in the province came out, no official from the mining firm has discussed with them about it.
“We are against mining because it is not part of our Samar Spark tourism agenda. In fact, there’s an ordinance prohibiting the operation of mining in Samar,” Tan told reporters.
“Being the governor, I am duty-bound to protect the interest of residents of Samar and the future generation, but if they will insist, if (there is) something good that can help develop Samar then I am willing to listen to them,” he added.
Marcventures Holdings Inc. (MHI) plans to operate a bauxite mine in the towns of Motiong, San Jose De Buan, and Paranas.
Once approved by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), this will make MHI the only firm to extract bauxite mines in the country.
MHI acquired the bauxite mine in Samar in 2016 after a merger with Asia Pilot Mining Philippines (APMPC) and Brightgreen Resources Corp.
It acquired Alumina Mining Phils. Inc. (AMPI) that holds Mineral Production Sharing Agreement 179-2002- VIII (Samar Island Bauxite Reservation) with an area of 6,694 hectares.
It was learned that aside from developing a new mining area, the MHI is also looking at expanding its operation in Surigao.
Bauxite is a rock composed of aluminum-bearing minerals commonly found in a tropical and subtropical climate.
Aluminum alloys are vital to several countries such as China, Australia, and the United States and industries including aerospace, transportation, and construction.
Australia, China, India, and Brazil are the main sources of aluminum in the world.
Mining is one of the identified industries of the national government that will become an economic driver of the country that is badly affected by the present health crisis.
The governor said that even if mining is the thrust of the national government, he is still opposed to it and will explain to the President why he is firmed on his stand and the possible damage that mining will cause to the province. (PNA)