Atro welcomes Council’s move on mining issue PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 March 2014 11:11

The move of the City Council to determine the “legality” of the exploration activities of Atro Mining-Vitali, Inc. (AMVI) in Vitali, some 73 kilometers from the city, is welcomed by the company as “an opportunity to present the whole story before the Council and the city government”.

“We look at it as an opportunity for us to present our case and hopefully put all these issues to rest in an atmosphere of healthy discussion towards attaining the common goal,” Mr. Leo Sosa, resident manager of AMVI, said.

Councilor Mel Sadain, during the City Council’s regular session on March 19, moved to convene the Council as a committee of the whole to support the decision of Mayor Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar as she disapproved AMVI’s application for Mayor’s Permit.

But Councilor Charlie Mariano contended that by convening the Council as a committee of the whole might usurp some of the functions of the concerned committees.

Mariano was able to prevail after lengthy deliberations on the floor and the City Council referred the resolution to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Earlier in the day, City Legal Officer retired-Judge Jesus Carbon was quoted during an interview with a radio station saying the city government will enforce the law on AMVI since the company has no business permit from the City Hall.

The retired judge reportedly said the exploration activities of AMVI are illegal because it does not have the permit  from the city.

Mr. Sosa, however, clarified that the permit the company applied for with the city government was “intended only for the establishment of the company’s office in the city.”

“It is by no means to seek approval from the city for our exploration activities since that function belongs to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) by which the company already has,” Sosa explained.

With the denied application for Mayor’s Permit, he added, it does not affect our rights to conduct all exploratory activities in the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area in Vitali.

“The power to issue a cease and decease order (CDO) completely belongs to MGB when it comes big mining company like AMVI,” Sosa said.

He suggested that media and city officials can always seek the opinion of the issue at hand.

Atro Mining has a Mines Operating Agreement with Hard Rock Mineral Trading, Inc. (HRMTI) which grants exclusive rights to conduct mining operations within the MPSA area. The MPSA area has a total area of 2,077.3084 hectares located at Upper Tagpangi, Vitali. The five satellite areas under the MPSA are Campo Uno, Veronica, Campo Cuatro, Limbong and Aboles.

AMVI has repeatedly applied for Mayor’s Permit in the past but was continually denied despite an outstanding resolution of “no objection” by the City Council.

The company nevertheless welcomed the move both by the City Council and the city government as “a positive development for company to settle the issue once and for all”, Mr. Sosa concluded.