The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recently approved exploration permits for two mining companies—only the second and third applications awarded by the regulator since the lifting of the moratorium on the acceptance of new mining applications.
In a report, MGB said that it has approved the EPs of Bunawan Mining Corp. and Kiamba Mining and Development Corp.
Bunawan’s permit covers a 677-hectare area located in Rosario, Agusan del Sur. The company’s EP was issued on August 18, 2014 and will expire on August 18, 2016.
Kiamba’s permit covers a 7,047-hectare area located in Maitum, Kiamba, Sarangani and Maasim, Lake Sebu and T’boli, South Cotabato. The permit was issued on August 20, 2014 and will expire on August 20, 2016.
The EPs grant Bunawan and Kiamba the right to explore the potential gold, copper and other associated mineral deposits within the permit area for a period of two years renewable for like periods but not to exceed a total term of six years, as such in the case of metallic minerals.
Since the implementation of EO 79 in July 2012, MGB suspended the acceptance of all types of mining applications until the no-go zones map is set in place. The map will guide potential investors to identify areas that are not accessible to mining.
No-go areas, which include island ecosystems and tourism destinations, are a crucial aspect of the Aquino administration’s mining policy to address environmental and social issues that hound the industry.
In May 2013, the agency lifted the ban and started accepting new applications for EPs and financial or technical assistance agreement.