SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela: The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)’s Cagayan Valley office has approved the immediate shipping out of British FCF miner from Barangay Runruno, Quezon town in Nueva Vizcaya for “security” reasons.
This was the response of MGB-Region 2 Director Mario Ancheta during the Environment Month Forum held last
Thursday to an inquiry about choppers reportedly transporting undetermined volume of gold bars out of the Runruno mine.
“We approved the request of FCF Minerals Corp. to ship out gold produced in the test run due to security concerns,” Ancheta said.
He added corresponding taxes were paid and that the Bureau of Customs has documented the shipment.
FCF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metals Exploration Plc (MEP), a company incorporated in the United Kingdom and listed on the London Stock Exchange and trading on the Alternative Investment Market.
It is now in the final stages of “debugging” its gold processing plant, the first in the country to use biological oxidation (Biox) method described as green technology.
Josie Guillao, a Runruno village resident, pointed out that while there was no formal declaration of FCF commercial operations, they have seen helicopters transporting gold bars out of the plant.
MGB officials said there have been reports of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels believed hiding in mountainous villages in Nueva Vizcaya where the Australian OceanaGold miner in Didipio village in Kasibu town and the FCF Minerals operate, are not effectively reached by government forces.
In recent months, the NPA has run over police stations and outposts in the region, one of which is the attack on the police station killing a policeman in Maddela, Quirino near the border of Nueva Vizcaya.
The attacks by NPA on government projects and police stations in Cagayan Valley continued despite peace talks under the Duterte administration.
The recent NPA-related incident in the region happened last Tuesday when Dexter Remodaro was attacked at his house in Barangay San Jose, Baggao town. He was accused of being a military spy.
A statement by the NPA-Cagayan has admitted to the “ambushes” in Baggao last Sunday which reportedly killed two intelligence operatives of the military and in Gattaran town, Cagayan last Monday.