By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Six alleged illegal miners were apprehended by government authorities in a small-scale mining area located at Purok 8, Barangay Maibu, Butuan City, police reported Saturday.
A flash report sent to the Caraga Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) from the Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) stated that the suspects are now under the custody of BCPO-Station 4 awaiting the filing of appropriate charges for alleged violation of illegal mining under RA 7942 or Mineral Resources Exploration Development, Utilization and Conservation , Section 103 or Theft of Minerals.
The six suspects were caught in the act of mining in a mining site without a permit to operate.
During operation, team from BCPO-S4 was able to confiscate one unit of air compressor, sacks of ore stocks, wooden pans, 20 meters nylon rope, 40 meters of number. 2 water hose, improvised wooden flushing box and other mining materials.
It was gathered that some illegal miners in the reported Barangay Maibu use the destructive “banlas,” or sluice mining method.
It is done by pouring a large amount of water onto a mountain surface to loosen rocks containing gold and then panning them using mercury.
Following a tip-off, the Butuan City Mobile Force Company and the DENR-Sub Monitoring Unit raided the illegal mining operation in Maibu.