Gov’t OKs 2nd big mine in Vizcaya
By: Melvin Gascon
Philippine Daily Inquirer –
20 July 2017
BAYOMBONG, NUEVA VIZCAYA—This province is hosting its second large-scale
mine with the start of the commercial operations of FCF Minerals Inc., a
British-owned firm, in Quezon town.
Mario Ancheta, Cagayan Valley director of the Mines and Geosciences
Bureau (MGB), said he had issued the permit allowing FCF Minerals to
begin production at its gold-molybdenum venture in Barangay Runruno in
“They declared their intent as early as September last year but we
needed to conduct our validation and had to wait for the results of the
debugging (a test run). I signed [the permit] on Monday,” he said.
The other mining firm, Australia-based OceanaGold Philippines Inc.,
began commercial operations in 2013. Its gold-copper project is located
in Barangay Didipio in nearby Kasibu town.
Last week, President Duterte belittled the mining industry’s
contributions to the country’s economy and slammed some companies for
failing to fix the damage they had caused on the environment.
“All you contribute to the country is about P70 billion in taxes. We can
live without it,” he said in a speech in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City
on July 12.
FCF Minerals is the Philippine subsidiary of Metals Exploration Plc, a
British-owned firm that was granted a permit to conduct large-scale
mining operations in Runruno, a mineral-rich upland community on the
Mamparang-Palali mountain range.
FCF Minerals intends to extract 1.39 million ounces of gold, and 25.6
million pounds of molybdenum (a mineral commonly used as alloy for
steel) within 10 years.
The firm’s operation suffered years of delay and had been suspended due
to its alleged failure to comply with standards.
Earlier this month, the company was accused by residents of shipping out
gold before it was granted a permit to start commercial production.
But Ancheta said the early shipments of gold were derived from test runs
of FCF Minerals facilities before their full operations.