THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has announced the first Minahang Bayan (MB) sites in Abra province in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
According to the MGB, the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board of Abra (PMRB-Abra) has recently declared the first MB site almost four years after the first application was lodged.
MB sites are approved sites where small-scale mining operations are legally allowed to operate.
The PMRB-Abra, late in June, signed Resolution No. 1 series of 2021 declaring the applied area of Ag-Agit Small Scale Mining and Multipurpose Cooperative, Inc. (ASSMMCI) as an MB.
The ASSMMCI application covers 20 hectares in Sitio Ag-Agit, Barangay Mapisla, in the Municipality of Licuan-Baay, Bangued, Abra, and was applied for as early as October in 2017.
The Ag-Agit site is the most recent of more than 33 approved MB sites across the country.
Another recently approved site, the other MB approved in the year, was approved following a PMRB-Benguet application of a Tuba site covering an area of 31.25 hectares located in Sitio Camp 6, Barangay Camp 4 in the municipality.
Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners’ Association Inc. (BFSSMAI), who applied for the Tuba site, initially applied as early as 2013, without success, and then reapplied for the site in 2018.