Benguet Corp told to secure abandoned mine from poachers

Benguet Corp told to secure abandoned mine from poachers

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza on Friday said Benguet Corp. could be held liable if it is found to have violated its mining permit when it allowed mining operations in its abandoned tunnels in Itogon, Benguet.

Atienza ordered Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Horacio Ramos to investigate after 16 “illegal” miners were trapped earlier this week inside the abandoned tunnels.

“I have directed the MGB director to also see to it that Benguet Corp. will take stricter action to stop illegal mining in its areas,” Atienza told reporters.

“The mining company has the full control of its premises, as stipulated in its mining permit,” he added.

Reports have said that the miners, who remain trapped in the tunnel, have “illegally entered” the mine site. The miners were not employees or workers of the mining firm.

Still, Atienza said Benguet Corp. is responsible for ensuring that the abandoned mine remains closed, as he noted further that the mining firm is responsible for its cleanup.

“The mining company should put up more effective measures to stop this illegal activity in its mining premises… prevent the conduct of mining in abandoned mines,” Atienza said. – Source: GMANews.TV

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