Big mining firms not welcome in Diwalwal: Guv

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DAVAO CITY — Provincial government officials of Compostela Valley rallied behind Monkayo town in opposing the entry of large-scale mining companies inside the 8,100-hectare Mt. Diwata mineral reservation area, commonly known as Diwalwal.

Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy noted that the area is being eyed for a mineral industry zone by the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC), which signed an agreement with Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) last year.

The issue is expected to be raised on Thursday’s Diwalwal Mineral Reservation Area (DMRA) Information Summit, which will tackle the DMRA development plan, the status of the Naboc River, effects of the chemicals used by mining operators, and the Naboc River Action Plan.

Uy said both the provincial and municipal governments have made it clear that no large-scale miners will be allowed in Diwalwal.

PMDC and PEZA’s plan to convert the area into an ecozone, however, is a welcome development, Uy said.

He said a manifesto declaring their opposition to the entry of large-scale miners was signed on June 8. Any proposals relating to the exploitation of mineral resources in Diwalwal should be done in consultation with local officials.

The governor said they expect the national government to side with them on the issue, maintaining that “mandate of the local government to ensure policies are for the betterment of the people.”

Uy underscored the government’s priority to rehabilitate Diwalwal, including the relocation of irregular settlers and the transfer of the batch-type mini CIP (Carbon in Pulp) and ball mills at the Diwalwal gold area to the Mineral Processing Zone in Mabatas.

The transfer was prompted by the high mercury contamination levels at the Naboc River.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau had recommended the transfer of mineral processing from the gold rush area to Mabatas as the latter has a tailings containment facility, preventing the direct discharge of wastes from the plants to the waterways — including the Naboc River. –Lilian C Mellejor/PNA

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