Waiting for Toni Yulo-Loyzaga’s move: 3 more mining firms want to join Gatchalian’s mining firm in exploiting Sibuyan Island

By Nancy Carvajal

The spotlight is now on Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga, a self-proclaimed environmentalist, to see if she will allow more companies to join Altai Mining, owned by plastics tycoon William Gatchalian, in exploiting Sibuyan Island in Romblon.

According to documents obtained by Bilyonaryo.com, three mining companies have applied for permits to extract metallic products on the island which has been dubbed the Galapagos of Asia.

These companies are Eramen Minerals, Fil-China Development Corp., and Graymont Philippines. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has yet to approve their mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) and exploration permit.

Eramen Minerals, chaired by Enrique Fernandez, has applied to extract nickel silicate and associated metal ore from 2,500 hectares in the areas of San Fernando and Cajidiocan in Romblon.

The company received a grant from the United States Trade Development Agency during the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the country last December.

Graymont Philippines, registered to Rommel, Rodolfo, and Linda Ibuna, applied to extract “nickel, iron, etcetera” minerals from 1,400 hectares of land in Magdiwang, Cajidiocan, Romblon.

Fil-China Dev’t Corp, owned by online gaming businessman Wilfrido Keng, applied to extract feldspar from 621 hectares in San Fernando, Romblon.

Altai, registered to Kenneth Gatchalian, has already been granted an exploration permit by DENR to extract and transport metallic materials covering 1,500 hectares in San Fernando, Romblon.

However, due to opposition from several sectors on Sibuyan Island, Altai was forced to stop its operation before a DENR order suspending its operation was handed down.

In a statement, DENR said APMC had no permit for the construction of a causeway to haul the minerals to the boat, but the mining company maintained they were able to obtain a permit from the Philippine Ports Authority.

The entire area of Sibuyan is approximately 44,000 hectares, including Mount Guiting-guiting, a protected forest.

READ RELATED STORIES:

Exploration stage pa lang! DENR insider claims Gatchalian firm shouldn’t be mining nickel at all in Sibuyan

Di raw kay William Gatchalian! Altai defiant, claims mining in Sibuyan legal despite getting stop order from DENR

LOOK: William Gatchalian joins Marcos in Japan amid Sibuyan mining scandal

‘Wag idaan sa dahas! Hontiveros backs Sibuyan Island residents vs Gatchalians’ Altai Mining

Wildlife wipeout! Check out how William Gatchalian’s Altai Mining is destroying ‘Galapagos of Asia’

Lakas ng loob, wala namang permit! DENR stops operations of William Gatchalian-owned Altai Mining in Romblon island paradise

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