Black sand or magnetite mining is being done now in almost every part of the country. In Cagayan, this is an ongoing problem, with both small scale and large scale miners coming in to gather black sand from both on- and offshore. This is being allowed by the local governments and other executive offices despite the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memo Circular No. 44, s. 2014 clarifications that foreshore mining is not allowed and that there is still a need for a clear guidelines for offshore mining.
Black sand mining has been opposed by Church and peoples organizations since the beginning. Initial research shows that magnetite mining causes agricultural and environmental problems. Black sand mining in coastal areas result in coastal erosion, inundation of communities, and degradation of marine ecosystem.
In 2009, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) sent a team to look into the reported beach erosion in Cagayan province, reportedly due to the illegal black sand mining operations in the area. In 2010, an anti-mining leader was killed.
In February 2014, the government suspended mining operations there, however there are still illegal mining operations in the area.