Diwalwal is already a household name in Mindanao. It refers to more than 8,000 hectares of gold mining reserves in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Southeastern Mindanao. In the early 80’s it begun as a gold rush site attracting migrants from all around Mindanao, and even from Luzon and the Visayas. While other mine sites had turned into “gold rust” sites, Diwalwal has remained the mine to mind.
Diwalwal, or aptly, Mt. Diwata, has been opened and closed to miners, mostly small scale “abanteros”. There is a highly contested issue on how to tap the natural resources in the gold reserves as small scale miners say it is their domain. The government, however, asserted its powers and created the National Mining Resources Development Corporation (NRMDC) to directly run the area.
Reportedly, whatever is earned from the mine reserve should be shared on a multi-level, multi-sector scheme. It is haunted, however, by controversy since the NRMDC reportedly has not updated the public on the vital figures.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the fate of who takes charge is still uncertain. It has been propped for an initial public offering (IPO) but there were no takers, reportedly, thus far.
MGB regional director Edilberto Arreza said the small scale miners are assured of at least 25 percent of the area that they will be contracted to mine, once the site is opened for operations by big contractors, like foreigners, perhaps.