Quantcast
Latest Stories

Philippines detains 18 Chinese for illegal mining


BLACK SAND mining by Chinese operators in Cagayan. MELVIN GASCON/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON FILE PHOTO

MANILA – The Philippines has detained 18 Chinese men on suspicion of illegal black sand mining in the northern coastal town of Aparri, the justice department said Tuesday.

Authorities say there has been a rise in the illegal extraction of magnetite – also known as black sand – which is an iron ore in huge demand by China’s steel mills.

Justice department investigators raided two mine sites run by Chinese firm Hua Xia Mining and Trading Corp. last Thursday and detained 18 of its employees, department spokesman Alex Lactao told AFP.

The company had a permit to dredge magnetite from a nearby river but not from the coast, he said. It is illegal to extract any minerals within 200 meters (656 feet) of a beach under Philippine law.

“Nine Chinese nationals were burrowing and processing magnetite sand within the prohibited zone,” said Lactao.

The other nine were arrested at a nearby beach where they were building a magnetite processing plant, he added.

Environmental groups say illegal magnetite mining has been stripping Philippine coasts through erosion.

They have blamed small-scale mining firms, most of them allegedly Chinese and often operating in collusion with shady local government officials, for the devastation.

The men detained in Aparri lacked permits required to work in the Philippines and could face further criminal charges, said Lactao, adding they have now been handed over to the immigration bureau.

The justice department launched a third raid in the northern town of San Vicente on Saturday but found the site, previously operated by another Chinese outfit, had been abandoned, the official said.

The raid teams seized mining equipment from all three sites as well as 1,500 tons of magnetite concentrate from the Aparri operations, he added.

Chinese embassy spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Under the Philippines’s mining laws, the environment ministry has regulatory oversight over large operations but not small-scale miners, who are defined as using only light equipment and no explosives.

Instead small-scale miners are licensed by local governments, which often lack the expertise or will to properly supervise them.

Black-sand miners are increasingly flouting the law by mining near the nation’s beaches, Carlos Tayag, Mines and Geosciences Bureau director for the northwestern Philippines, told AFP in May.

Reports of Chinese nationals breaking these laws have occurred frequently in recent years.

Authorities arrested 80 Chinese miners from one chromite mine in Zambales in 2010, and another eight at a similar chromite operation in the central island of Samar last year.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: black sand , China , Environment , Justice , local , magnetite , Mining



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace