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Singson: No black sand mining in Ilocos Sur

Raymund Catindig, Charlie Lagasca (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2014 - 12:00am

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines – Ilocos Sur is free from black sand mining, said Gov. Ryan Singson, even as Church-led groups protested last Sunday what they alleged was the continuous extraction of the mineral in the province.

Singson said the protesting groups led by the Save Ilocos Sur Alliance could have mistaken the dredging along the coastline in Caoayan town as black sand mining. 

The Vigan City-based Diocese of Nueva Segovia issued a pastoral letter condemning the supposed extraction of black sand in Caoayan town.

Fr. Cosmenio Rosimo of Narvacan town expressed fear that the continued extraction of the mineral could cause floods in the town’s coastal villages.   

An important component used by power plants to generate electricity, black sand or magnetite is also being utilized as an additive in manufacturing concrete and steel products, magnets, paint, ink, paper, jewelry and cosmetics, making it a lucrative commodity in foreign markets such as in China and Taiwan.

In Cagayan province, criminal charges were earlier filed against a Chinese national, a Chinese-Filipino and 10 Filipinos who were arrested for black sand mining in Barangay Baua, Gonzaga town.

Reports identified the foreigner as Cheng Yan Din of Fujian, China, reportedly the operations manager of the Chinese firm Sigma Rock Corp. engaged in the extraction and processing of magnetite.

The group was charged with violation of Republic Act 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995, particularly illegal extraction and processing of minerals.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau earlier had suspended all black sand mining operations in the northern coastlines of Cagayan and Ilocos and elsewhere in the country.  – With Artemio Dumlao

BARANGAY BAUA CAGAYAN AND ILOCOS CAOAYAN CHENG YAN DIN OF FUJIAN CHINA AND TAIWAN COSMENIO ROSIMO OF NARVACAN DIOCESE OF NUEVA SEGOVIA ILOCOS SUR IN CAGAYAN MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU MINING ACT
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