TUGUEGARAO CITY: The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has announced that it was ready to stop all black sand mining operations in Cagayan province if Malacañang upholds the resolution of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC).
Engr. Mario Ancheta, the MGB director for Cagayan Valley, said “our office will stop all [black sand]mining operations in Cagayan if President Benigno Aquino 3rd says so.”
The MICC had passed a resolution calling the President for the “stoppage of all black sand mining operations in the country,” citing adverse effects to the lives of coastal communities and the ecosystem.
Black sand mining firms in Cagayan are financed by Chinese and Taiwanese nationals in partnership with Filipino businessmen and they have been issued permits by the MGB and concerned local governments.
It was Secretary Manuel Mamba, the head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, who asked for the suspension of black sand extraction in the province pending a review of their permits.
Used as an additive in the manufacturing of concrete and steel products, magnets, paint, ink, paper, jewelry and cosmetics, black sand or magnetite is a very lucrative commodity on foreign markets such as in China and Taiwan.