DENR urged to deny mining permit renewal

Mount Manaphag looms over Pan de Azucar Island. (Photo courtesy of Maestro Gala PH)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Save Pan de Azucar Movement has submitted a petition to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), urging the agency to deny the renewal of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc.’s (TVIRD) exploration permit on Pan de Azucar Island in Concepcion town.

The DENR and its Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) received the petition on June 25 and 26, respectively.

In the petition, the organization gathered a total of 3,102 signatures from residents of the island, with 1,241 from Taloto-an, 1,673 from Tambaliza, and 188 signatures collected online.

“We come as one, stronger to show our earnest stand in protecting our environment not just for the residents but for all who consume seafood from the Visayan Sea,” the petition read.

The petitioners expressed their strong opposition to TVIRD’s exploration activities on Pan de Azucar Island.

“It’s time for the government to act, defend, and favor its citizens rather than these companies because we believe that the voice of the people, our voice, is the voice of God,” they added.

TVIRD is engaged in a “pyrite joint venture project” on Pan de Azucar Island, operating under the Mineral Processing and Sharing Agreement (MPSA) with Mindoro Resource Ltd. and Minimax Mineral Exploration Corporation.

The MPSA, approved on June 19, 1999, expired on June 19 this year.

Earlier in May, TVIRD announced its intention to renew the MPSA, highlighting that “it has invested significantly in its pyrite asset on Pan de Azucar and intends to bring it to operations.”

Daily Guardian has reached out to TVIRD for an update on its MPSA renewal, but the mining firm has yet to respond as of writing.

The provincial government issued a cease and desist order (CDO) to the mining firm due to the confirmed presence of arsenic in the groundwater following a field investigation on January 10, 2024.

The issuance of the CDO prompted TVIRD to transport its heavy equipment back to the mainland.


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