CORDON, Isabela (PNA) — Isabela government officials have stopped the operations of a private firm which was allegedly involved in illegal dredging and mining activities in gold ore-rich Diadi river in Camarao village in this town.
Geronimo Cabaccan, Isabela provincial government’s environment and natural resources officer, said the stoppage of the operations of Landwealth Mines Resources, Corp owned by Robert Chan Jr. was issued in compliance to RA 7076, also known as the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 and its implementing rules and regulations.
Cabaccan noted the resurgence of dredging operations in the past months.
“This office received information that (Landwealth Mines) deployed another dredging machine in the adjacent area of the Diadi river,” Cabaccan added.
He noted that the Landwealth’s dredging works were “actually mining activity” and that it has no “necessary permit issued by concerned agencies.”
Until and unless Landwealth can present the required permits, the stoppage order would subsist, he added.
It could be recalled that ocular inspections have been done by environment officials and allied national agencies at the operation site in the past months and found violations after assessing the fact-finding committee on environmental protection report.
Landwealth company officials could not be reached for comment. Chan is said to be in Metro Manila while Mencias was nowhere to be found in the village.
Joint team probers earlier found out that the company’s issued environmental compliance certificate (ECC) documents presented by Camarao village chief Ricardo Mencias to investigators were for commercial sand and gravel quarrying, not dredging or mining. The company representatives failed to present any document to warrant dredging or mining operations, the fact-finding assessment report added.(PNA)