• Vizcaya mineral-rich villages produce first mining engineers

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    BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: More and more young Vizcayanos have chosen to pursue mining as a career in their mineral-rich hometowns.

    “No more turning back in our pursuit of responsible mining in our province,” the two new mining engineers, Echievery Baguilat of Didipio village in Kasibu town and Chozen Paul Ananayo of Runruno village in Quezon town said.

    Baguilat and Ananayo passed the recently held licensure examination for mining engineers based on the August 12 results released by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

    There are two Philippine government-sanctioned Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) holders operating in the province of Nueva Vizcaya.

    The Australian-Canadian miner OceanaGold, the first FTAA holder in the country, operates its Didipio Copper-Gold Project in Kasibu town while the British FCF Minerals operates its Runruno Gold-Molybdenum Project in Quezon town.

    The two new engineers completed their course at the Catholic-run Saint Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City, the top performing school in the August 2016 Mining Engineers Licensure Examination.

    Baguilat and Ananayo were the two of 48 passers among the 60 examinees from SLU that was acknowledged by the PRC this year as the only school with 50 or more examinees with at least 80-percent passing percentage.

    Baguilat and Ananayo vowed to pursue responsible mining in the villages where they grew up.

    “We would not like to think that our future is bleak because of prevailing mass sentiment and government policies critical to mining, but we will show our leaders that we have the right to pursue responsible mining in our birth places,” the new mining engineers said.

    OceanaGold General Manager David Way said the new engineers were recipients of their scholarship grant from the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences fund for host communities as provided for in the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

    “Our funds for the scholarships are drawn from 1.5 percent of OceanaGold’s operating cost in our Didipio Copper-Gold Project in Kasibu town,” Way explained.

    He said several students from the province were given scholarship grants to take mining, geology and metallurgy-related courses, and other engineering courses.

    “We have 20 scholars at the moment and 17 additional scholarship slots for this year to take mining-related courses,” Way added.

    LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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