The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is eyeing to cancel the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of Maricalum Mining Corporation in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, due to numerous violations of the government’s mining policies, its Western Visayas director, Francisco Milla Jr., said yesterday.
Milla said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 6 recommended the cancellation of the MPSA, and it has already been submitted to the Office of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu last month.
It is up to the Secretary to act on the recommendation, he added.
“After the initial evaluation, not all the 2,700 hectares are forest lands. There are also alienable and disposable lands, as well as titled properties of Maricalum,” he said.
Raul Laput, MGB Region 6 officer-in-charge, said the violations of Maricalum included failure to pay occupation fees for several years, submit reportorial requirements, and comply with the measures.
“If the MPSA is cancelled, the property will go back to its original status. If it is a private lot, it will go back to the private owner. If it’s a forest land, then it will go to the government,” he said.
Laput said the mining firm was given due process but it still failed to comply with the requirements.
“It is up to the secretary if he will issue the cancellation order. We submitted our recommendation last September 19,” Laput added.*
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