MAC: Mines and Communities

Philippines: Government reopens the doors to mining amid protests

Published by MAC on 2013-03-19
Source: Statements, Philippine Star, Manila Standard

Following  recent Government pronouncements in favour of both Xstrata and Philex, the latest announcement concerns the lifting of a mining application moratorium that has lasted over two years.

Cynics point out how the timing coincides with forthcoming elections, and the need of politicians to finance their expensive campaigns.

 Philippines 'flashmob' protest outside of Xstrata's offices
Philippines 'flashmob' protest on International Women's Day
outside of Xstrata's offices. Photo: ATM

The decision comes shortly after nationwide vigils to mark the 13th anniversary of the much reviled Philippine Mining Act, and to mark international women's day there was a female 'flash mob' protest dance outside of Xstrata's offices in Manila.

The demonstration was  over Xstrata's involvement in the Tampakan project, particularly over the killing of Juvy Capion (see: Philippines: Payments to the military unveiled by Tampakan enquiry).

About the same time as the protest, it was announced that sixteen soldiers involved in that killing are now facing criminal charges, including the officer involved, Lieutenant-Colonel Bravo. Given the high profile of the case, it will be instructive to see whether it can overcome the endemic impunity granted the military for such deaths.

In the last MAC Philippine update we reported that Philex Mining had been given permission to resume mining at their Padcal mine after the spill, and now we can confirm they have indeed re-started. Also,

Sumitomo Mining is also talking about processing the rare earth element, scandium, at their Coral Bay site in Palawan.

Green activists hit Aquino administration of being palpable benefactor of big and foreign miners

... says, PNoy's mining decisions will result to more environmental disasters.

Defend Patrimony press release

15 March 2013

Environmental groups are shocked in the series of decisions made by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Malacañang allowing foreign and corporate miners to expand large-scale mining operations in the country. Yesterday, the DENR lifted the so-called moratorium on new mining applications it implemented in 2011. Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo Jasareno said their agency will accept and process new mining applications starting March 18.

"The lifting of the ‘mining moratorium' came as no surprise to us. Last February, we witnessed the appalling display of support by President Aquino to erring and irresponsible foreign and corporate miners. First he gave environmental compliance to human rights violator Xstrata then allowed irresponsible miner Philex to resume its dangerous operation in Benguet," says Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of the militant environmental group Kalikasan PNE.

"The lifting of the moratorium completely exposed the Aquino administration as pro-big miner. PNoy completely disrobed its pretension of caring for the welfare of the people and protecting the environment by allowing unfettered entry and expansion of new large-scale mining in the Philippines," Bautista explained.

Last month, DENR gave its go signal to Philex and Xstrata, two of the biggest mining companies, to continue their large-scale mining projects in spite of strong local opposition and related environmental violations. Last August 2012, Philex gold mining operation in Benguet released 20 million metric tons of toxic mine wastes to the environment, rendering Balog creek biologically dead. While South Cotabato witnessed a series of massacres and killings of indigenous peoples that started in October 2012. Indigenous peoples particularly the B'laan tribe strongly oppose the Xstra gold copper project in the area.

"The anti-people and anti-environment mining policies of the Aquino regime are killing the people. The Aquino regime's policies should be blamed not Typhoon Pablo for the huge devastation in Mindanao. Now, the lifting of mining moratorium on new projects provides the green light to unabated plunder of environmental resources and allowing more disasters to happen," said Juland Suazo, spokesperson of Panalipdan Mindanao an environmental network opposing foreign and destructive mining in Mindanao.

Defend Patrimony, a national alliance against mining liberalization and foreign plunder also criticizes the Aquino government on its decision. In a statement it said that "It is clear that the Aquino government timely lifted the mining moratorium this campaign period to increase their kickbacks and replenish its fund to support its Senatorial and local candidates. This is a clear sell-off of our patrimony and natural resources, the people should rise in arms and hold the Aquino government accountable.

In the MGB Administrative Order 2013-10 which set the guidelines for the new mining applications and increased the related mining fees. The MGB increase the mining application fee from Php60 per hectare to Php300-500 per hectare. A minimum of Php200,000 or Php500,000 depending on application were charged to applicants.

Reference: Clemente Bautista, 09228449787

National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099

Gov't reopens doors to mining

By Riza T. Olchondra

Philippine Daily Inquirer

15 March 2013

The government is reopening its doors to mining applications, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

"The lifting of the moratorium means that the country is now ready to implement responsible mining, given the trailblazing provisions of EO (Executive Order) No. 79. We should also expect significant mining investments to start pouring in as we see mineral exploration moving on again," MGB director Leo L. Jasareno said via text message.

Earlier on Thursday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-MGB, released a memorandum order signed by Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje.

The document announced the lifting of a more than two-year mining application moratorium.

Applications for exploration permits and the like may be processed again.

However, applications for mineral production sharing agreements will still be on hold pending a mining revenue scheme and other constraints related to EO 79, which was issued last year to spell out vital mining policy reforms.

The DENR suspended the acceptance of all types of mining applications in January 2011.

Changing mining policies, as well as the lack of consistency in national and local laws and changing regulatory climate (such as the open pit mining ban that has delayed the Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao) are among the concerns of foreign investors in the mining industry of the Philippines where there is an estimated $850 billion in reserves.

Hundreds gather to protest mining all over the country

Local groups stage candle lighting and prayers against mining projects

ATM Press Release

11 March 2013

Quezon City-Hundreds of protesters from mining-affected communities throughout the country gathered over the weekend to condemn the negative impacts of large-scale mining and the decision of national agencies allowing for the aggressive promotion of mining in the Philippines.

Community members and support groups held the gatherings in Cagayan Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Leyte, Agusan del Norte, and Surigao del Sur, and organized separate site actions to say "No to mining!"

Commemoration of Mining Act's 13 years of oppression

The intensified local actions challenged the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, or RA 7942. The law is being blamed for its negative impacts on people and the environment, and for causing social unrest. Many organizations view the Mining Act, enacted on March 4, 1995, as a policy submission to the demands of international financial institutions such as the World Bank, to liberalize the mining industry of the country.

Jaybee Garganera, ATM national coordinator said: "This law has resulted to the destruction of the environment - our food and water sources, [and has] led to social disorder and tribal wars. Worse, it cost the lives of many environmentalists and anti-mining advocates."

"Black sand mining here in Cagayan remains to be illegal and destructive. We are concerned that our coastal areas are being eroded and this poses threats to our lives and our livelihood", said Evelyn Lacambra, President of CLAIM (Concerned Lal-okenos Against Illegal Mining), based in the town of Lalo, in Cagayan Province.

Meanwhile, Fidel Opay, Secretary General of SALAKNIB from Nueva Vizcaya, stated that "the mining operations here in Nueva Vizcaya are not accepted by the community. The resistance against mining are present in villages from Didipio and Malabing Valley in the town of Kasibu and barricades have been set-up in Paquet and Pao villages in the same town." He added that these operations conflict with their agricultural livelihood. "We demand from the local government and the DENR to stop these operations," he concluded. SALAKNIB is a multi-sectorial organization throughout Nueva Vizcaya, campaigning against mining and proposed large-scale dam projects in the province.

The Cagayan activity was held in a parish church in Aparri, with more than 30 participants coming from the towns of Lal-o, Buguey, and Aparri. The gathering in Neuva Vizcaya was held in front of the provincial capitol with more than 20 farmers from Kasibu and Dupax del Norte municipalities. Both were held last Sunday, March 10.

Last Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013, more than 200 participants gathered in a solidarity action in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Led by "Save Palawan" Movement, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI), and the Justice for Doc Gerry Movement, the ecumenical prayer gathering was led by no less than Bishop Pedro Arigo. It also included youth groups, local media, and supporters of senatorial candidate Teddy Casino.

Today, March 11, about 100 people from the towns of Cantilan and Carascal from Surigao del Sur, gathered in Butuan City, to protest against the DENR-MGB for failing to implement a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) against Marcventures Mining Corporation, a nickel-mining company. The protesters were joined by at least 15 indigenous peoples (from the Mamanwa tribe) from Agusan del Norte for the protest.

Scrap RA 7942; enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)

As an alternative to the current mining law, AlyansaTigil Mina, part of SoS-Yamang Bayan Network, is pushing for the passage of a Minerals Management bill that will not only look into the exploitation of the country's mineral resources, but will also return the power to mining-affected communities to decide if they want to allow miners to explore their land.

Erwin Quinones, coordinator of the SoS-YB network said, "The Mining Act of 1995 fails to respond to issues of social acceptability, environmental concerns, and the reality of climate change and disasters. That is why SoS-YB is pushing for the enactment of a new mining law, embodied by the proposed Philippines Mineral Resources Act (PMRA), or the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)." SoS-YB is a multi-sectorial group composed of more than a hundred local and national organizations supporting the AMMB.

ATM also challenged the Aquino administration to distinguish itself from the previous regime. Garganera said, "PNoy must support the passage of AMMB or PMRA. That is the only genuine way to be true to his social contract and to resolve the conflicts brought by large-scale mining."

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information: Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 09277617602
Farah Sevilla, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, 0915-3313361

On 18th year of RA 9752: ‘Scrap Mining Act, nationalize mining'

Kalikasan PNE Press Release

4 March 2013

On the 18th anniversary of RA 9752 or the Philippine Mining Act, militant environmental groups decried Aquino's coddling of irresponsible miners and demand the scrapping of the national mining policy that has cleared the path for foreign exploitation of the country's mineral resources.

Wearing red bandanas and carrying bamboo spears on hand, environmental activists, indigenous peoples, and religious groups marched to Mendiola Bridge and burned a ‘big miner protector' effigy of Aquino, to signify the progressive groups' all-out war against large-scale destructive mining and flawed mining policy.

"To save this country from further destruction and disaster, the Mining Act must be scrapped and replaced with a nationalist mining policy. Since the implementation of the Mining Act, big and foreign miners have exploited our lands, displaced our people, polluted our rivers and denuded our forests. PNoy's mining policy is literally tuwid na daan para sa pag-ubos ng ating likas-yaman," said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of green activist group Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment.

Aquino issued Executive Order 79 on July 2012 to implement reforms and ensure environmental protection and responsible mining. Since the implementation of the Mining EO, however, at least 3 mining disasters have occurred - pollution of rivers in Sofronio Española, Palawan by Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation; series of mine spills and tailings dam collapse in the Philex gold mining in Benguet on August to October 2012; and a landslide in coal mining of Semirara Mining Corp in Antique last February 13.

"The disasters and violations of environmental laws reported in the last 18 years prove the futility of the country's current mining law. The Mining Act and the mining EO favor the interests of big miners, rather than protect our communities and the environment," said Bautista added.

He added that at the current state and under current policies, mining still contributes a very meager amount to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), proving that mining only "profits big companies."

"Only a nationalist mining industry can truly benefit the Filipino people," Bautista added.

Based on government data from 2000 to 2009, the average contribution of mining to the GDP was only 0.91 percent, 2.5 percent to total investments and only 0.38 percent to total employment. The ratio of government tax collection from mining to the total mineral production also shows minimal contribution, as the government only collected 7.6 percent or P64.2 billion of the mining industry's total mineral production of P842 billion from 1997 to 2010.

"The Aquino government's promotion of large-scale mining operations and projects has paved the way for the plunder of our natural resources. The people should resist plunder by using their electoral power and ensure that pro-foreign mining candidates are not placed in power. More importantly, the people must further widen and intensify their struggle in the mountains, streets and communities to defend their land, lives and resources and push for a nationalist mining industry," stated Defend Patrimony, a multisectoral network against mining liberalization.
Reference: Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator, Kalikasan PNE
National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099

On its 18th year, Philippine Mining Act still reviled as a killing behemoth

5 March 2013

By Marya Salamat

MANILA - Indigenous groups marked the 18th year of the Philippine Mining Act by marching to Mendiola Bridge Monday March 4 to demand the revocation of the law. With Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, the groups declared that after 18 years, the country has had more than enough bases to call for the termination of the disastrous and killer mining law.

It is now high time, they said, to replace it with another mining law that would reorient the industry in order to utilize the country's mineral wealth primarily toward Philippine industrialization. The groups also dismissed Aquino's new mining policy, Executive Order No. 79, as just a ploy to defuse criticisms of the Mining Act.

In a program at the Mendiola Bridge, Colmenares touted the Makabayan bloc of legislators' proposed Peoples Mining Bill in Congress. He said that apart from seeking to make mining closely linked with industrialization - instead of the current law's almost 100-percent export-oriented thrust - their proposed Peoples Mining Bill would seek also to rationalize mining to minimize environmental degradation. It would also respect the rights of those immediately affected. The opposite of it all are the hallmarks of the implementation of the Philippine Mining Act, as various groups noted over the years.

Curses of mining act

"Corruption, violence, human rights violations, chilling disasters one after another -these are what Filipinos have suffered as a result of implementing the Mining Act of 1995," Colmenares said. He cited as example the revelations from last week's inquiry into the massacre of anti-mining advocates in gold-rich Tampakan, South Cotabato.

In the inquiry, it was exposed that the Xstrata-controlled SMI has been giving the Philippine Army P900,000 ($21,950) per month or P10.8-million ($263.4 thousand) a year. It came out after Col. Marcos Flores mentioned a certain amount of monthly pay for CAFGUs coming from the mining company, which the mayor of Kiblawan, Marivic Diamante, quickly corrected by revealing the total monthly amount the army is receiving from SMI-Xstrata.

In an earlier statement, Colmenares shared that Mayor Diamante, a "rabid supporter" of SMI mining, revealed that SMI allocates P7,500.00 ($182) each to 120 CAFGUs for a total of P850,000 ($20,730) every month. " On top of that the company pays the military regularly its gasoline allowance. "SMI-Xstrata officials is essentially a conspirator in the killing of the Capion family," Colmenares concluded in disgust after the hearing last week in South Cotabato.

"That explains why the military doesn't want mining to stop; because money will also stop." Colmenares told Among others, evidences in Tampakan massacre, site of the biggest mining site-to-be, pointed to the military's strafing of the unarmed victims' hut.

The military is not supposed to be receiving money from mining companies, Colmenares said, adding the national budget already has allocations for the military.

Similar military atrocities are decried by locals and indigenous peoples groups in other parts of the country hosting large-scale mining operations.

According to KATRIBU Partylist, roughly 60 percent of all approved mining applications in the country, which covers more than 1 million hectares, are in the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples. "This is an upfront to our existence as peoples. With all our lands being fenced off, dug up and scraped, our environment destroyed, we have no other option but to defend our lands and lives," Tolentino declared.

Since the enactment of Mining Act, many indigenous peoples groups have been compelled to launch their own tribal defense system against the incursion of mining corporations. Last year, one pangayaw was declared in Mindanao against Xstrata-controlled SMI to defend the Blaan's ancestral domain. The Philippine Army has allegedly killed four members of the family of the anti-Xstrata chieftain who led the pangayaw.

From Central Luzon, Edwin Danan 59, spokesperson of Central Luzon Aeta Association, said they joined Monday's protest (against Mining Act) because they need also to bring to light their issue against mining.

Danan said the Aetas living in the mountains of Central Luzon have been pushed from one place to another in the mountains but now, they have nowhere else to go to. Lately their ancestral domain in Pampanga is being desired as mining site by at least two mining companies digging for gold and copper.

In 2006, Danan said "martial law arrived" in their communities through then Major General Jovito Palparan of the Philippine Army. "He deployed CAFGUS in the middle of Aeta communities in Pampanga. Leaders could not move around, they're accused that they're speaking the rebels' doctrine. But, we told them, we are only doing what our ancestors have done before us. We are only defending our ancestral domain," Danan explained.

The mining companies are still there in the area, and Danan said the threat of dislocation hangs huge over their heads. "We have moved before from one place to another. There are no more places for us to move and live but where we are now," Danan said.

The Aquino government seems to ignore also the rights of indigenous peoples. According to Danan, contributing to the threat over their last piece of ancestral domain is the government's plan to haul to Zambales some 50,000 relocatees from Manila, after their informal settlements were demolished. Danan told the government is offering these relocatees jobs in black sand mining in Zambales. The relocatees, he said, do not seem to be told that in being dumped in Aeta ancestral lands, they would be dislocating and threatening the survival of the Aetas.

Many more cases reveal similar cavalier attitude over the rights and lives of indigenous peoples amid the Aquino government's boasts of development projects.

Early this month, reports also mentioned heavy military deployment in the Cordillera Region while the government tries to get the Kalinga tribes' Free Prior Informed Consent over a mining project. All over the Philippines, military deployment and operation, according to green groups and indigenous peoples groups, descend on communities like an "inseparable twin."

Last December's Human Rights Day in Manila was marked with a delegation of tribespeople from Mindanao who brought surreal stories of lives spent on the run as mining operations and military operations descend on their communities and try to shoo them away.

On the 18th year of the Mining Act of 1995, Karapatan-Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights called for the immediate scrapping of this law saying "it is a direct assault on our sovereignty and patrimony as it emasculates our rights as a people," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. She emphasized that most of the human rights violations that they have documented, especially in Mindanao, are related to big foreign businesses engaged in large-scale mining.

"These mining companies often hire goons, finance the AFP and its paramilitary groups to eliminate opposition and pave the way for mining operations. Their connivance is a perfect combination for human rights violations against the people, especially those who are opposed to plunder by these transnational corporations," Palabay said.

As Aquino enters the second half of his term, members of indigenous peoples partylist group Katribu said at least 33 of their fellow tribes people have been extra-judicially killed. The killings, Katribu said, tend to eliminate the leaders visible in the frontlines of resistance against development projects such as large-scale mining.

After 18 years, "The regimes that implemented the Mining Act of 1995 are accountable for grave human rights violations," Palabay of Karapatan said. The Aquino regime is "equally responsible for the intensification of these violations such as the extrajudicial killings, forced evacuations, and for strengthening the law, despite the opportunity to junk it," Palabay added.

Karapatan reiterates its call to pull out military troops in communities, dismantle paramilitary groups such as the CAFGU and the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA). It echoed the calls of other people's organizations to junk the Mining Act of 1995.

"Mining espoused by the Mining Act of 1995 and the Aquino government is an ongoing war against the people," Kakay Tolentino, secretary general of Katribu Partylist said. She asked the public to support the indigenous peoples' determined resistance against mining plunder and environmental destruction. (

Anti-mining protest marks International Women's Day

by Jonathan L. Mayuga

Business Mirror

MEMBERS of various women's groups stormed the bustling central business district of Makati City on Friday to protest the government's policy to promote mining, which, they said, is undermining women's rights in the Philippines.

The creative protest, which capped the celebration of the International Women's Day on Friday, saw more than a hundred women from more than 30 different women's groups, simultaneously dancing for about 30 minutes in the busy streets of Ayala Avenue in front of the LKG Building, which houses the corporate office of the Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI).

SMI is the proponent of the $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project in southern Mindanao, which is being strongly opposed by various stakeholders.

The mining firm was recently granted an environmental compliance certificate, considered to be a permit to operate, by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the agency in charge of managing the country's natural wealth despite several unresolved issues, including the ban on open-pit mining method in South Cotabato, one of the provinces where the company intends to operate its open-pit mine to extract copper and gold ores underneath the Tampakan grounds, said to be the biggest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the country.

A violator of women's rights

THE protesters, who were wearing purple shirts crying for justice, pointed to mining as the culprit behind various human-rights violations, especially against women, in mining-affected communities.

Even before the operation of the Tampakan copper-gold project, the protesters said the escalation of tension in the area and persistent threats against the rights of women among the B'laan communities have caused deaths and insecurity.

"Mining is poisoning the community's food and water, killing indigenous women, exploiting workers, displacing rural women, and worsening prostitution," says Daryl Leyesa of the World March of Women-Pilipinas.

Leyesa, secretary-general of Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, said: "Today we celebrate our hopes, our rights, our voices, our movements, as we continue to work toward the elimination of violence and discrimination, our right to self-determination, our right to decide on our bodies, communities and natural resources. We voice out the development we want. We move toward equality and justice. We dance until we are all free."

Environmentally destructive

MINE tailings, they said, seep through the water system of communities, while backhoes excavate the farmers' rice fields, fishermen's coastal areas and ancestral land of the indigenous peoples groups.

"Women toil more than 12 hours a day to produce and secure food for their families, to bring water to their homes, to gather medicines from their forests. That is why, women regard the land and water as a source of life; but mining corporations easily disregard this valuable resource for profit," Judy Pasimio of Purple Action for Women's Rights said.

She said that what happened at the Padcal mines in Tuba and Itogon, Benguet, last August, wherein an accidental discharge of sediments from the Tailings Storage Facility No. 3 that contaminated the Balog Creek in Benguet and the Agno River in Pangsinan, may also happen in Tamapakan.

SMI's mining tenement of approximately 10,000 hectares straddles four provinces, namely, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.

An open-pit mine is a method described by mining experts as the most safe, but environmentalists also said it is the most destructive, because it requires shaving of forests, leveling mountains to the ground, and digging deep underneath the earth to extract metallic minerals.

Women: Mining's worst victims

THE protesters said that there are recorded cases wherein women and children were killed for opposing mining, citing the case of the Capion family and Cheryl Ananayo last year.

Juvy Capion, a B'laan leader, was killed along with her two children last October by the military, which is now known as the Tampakan massacre.

Women say YES to Development!

Women say NO to Corporate Mining!

International Women's Day Statement

8 March 2013

International Women's Day. 08 March 2013. Today, we celebrate our hopes, our rights, our voices, our movements as we continue to work towards the elimination of violence and discrimination, our right to self-determination, our right to decide on our bodies, communities and natural resources. We voice out the development we want. We move towards equality and justice. We dance until we are all free.

As we celebrate this day we stand firm against those who dare to violate our hopes, our rights, our voices, and our movements. We stand firm against those who dare to destroy the lives we choose to live and the future we dream for our children. WE STAND FIRM AGAINST CORPORATE MINING, for mining companies dared to poison us, kill us, displace us, prostitute us, exploit us.

MINING POISONS our food and waters - mine tailings seeping through the water system, backhoes excavating our rice fields, coastal areas and mountains. Women toil more than twelve hours a day to produce and secure food for their families, to bring water to their homes, to gather medicines from their forests. Women regard the land and water as source of life; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of life.

MINING DISPLACES rural women - away from their homes, their farms, their municipal waters, their forests. With diminishing sources of income due to degradation of their natural resources, rural women have to find work in the cities or abroad, with the risk of falling prey to trafficking and prostitution. Women are driven away from their families and communities; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of family and community.

MINING WORSENS prostitution - peddling entertainment to investors and their male workers, peddling women next to the produce of the mines. Young women get attracted to jobs near the mining areas, many fall victims to empty promises of better incomes at the cost of their bodies and dignity; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard a person's dignity.

MINING EXPLOITS workers - subjecting them to inhuman conditions and various risks to health and danger without any occupational safety hazards, without security of tenure, without decent pay. The government promotes mining for job creation but it has not delivered any impact on employment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the dignity of work.

MINING KILLS indigenous women - Juvy Capion's and Cheryl Ananayo's children sleep at night grieving the loss of their mothers, whose last cries were for their ancestral domains. Indigenous women laid their lives for their ancestral lands not because they wanted to merely benefit or profit from it, but because they wanted to protect the ties that bind them as a people, their cultural identity and integrity. This is the reason why there is the free prior informed consent (FPIC) that would protect indigenous communities from threats of encroachment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the right to self-determination, and bastardize the very spirit of FPIC.

With all its dominance and violence, corporate mining perpetuates patriarchy. It has deprived women's voice to be heard in the communities. It has justified militarization in the country side. With all its capitalist greed, multinational mining corporations perpetuate wanton exploitation of the environment, and undermines national sovereignty. It has worsened impacts of climate change. It has threatened food sovereignty and national patrimony. But mining corporations cannot do it by themselves; but yes, government has long been by their side.

Today, in one voice, women from different communities, and languages, say -

Mining poisons our food and water.

Mining kills indigenous women.

Mining exploits workers.

Mining displaces rural women.

Mining worsens prostitution.

Protect women human rights defenders in mining areas.
STOP corporate mining!

Pursue a development path that uplifts the dignity and lives of the Filipino communities, nurtures the natural resources and environment, and eliminates all forms of violence against women.

Akbayan-Youth • Alliance of Progressive Labor • Amnesty International • Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) • Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) • Asian Circle 1325 • Bagong Kamalayan • BATIS • Batis-AWARE • Buklod • Buklod ng Nagkakaisang Kababaihan • Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino - Kababaihan • CATW-AP • Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) • Children's Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc • DAKILA Palawan Collective • Development Action for Women Network • Filipino Deaf Women Health and Crisis Center (FDWHCC) • Focus on the Global South • Free Burma Coalition • Freedom from Debt Coalition • Initiatives for International Dialogue • Kababaihan-Pilipinas • KAISA-KA • KAMP • Kasibulan • Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK/Friends of the Earth-Phils) • LILAK (Purple Action for Women's Rights) • Medical Action Group • MFA • Partido Lakas ng Masa • Partido ng Manggagawa • PAHRA • PEACE • Philrights • Piglas Kababaihan • Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)• PREDA • RENEW • Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) • SARILAYA • Transform Asia • Unlad Kabayan • Women's Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organization (WEDPRO) • WomanHealth Phils. • Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau • Welga ng Kababaihan • Women's Crisis Center • Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE) • World March of Women - Pilipinas • numerous courageous individuals who joined through the event's facebook page

Let us show the force of people advocating for environmental conservation and human rights protection.

Soldiers face charges for tribal family's killing

This is a landmark case, say human rights groups

7 March 2013

Davao City, Philippines - Sixteen soldiers are facing criminal charges related to the killing of the wife and sons of a tribal, militant protester opposed to a mine co-run by Swiss firm Xstrata in South Cotabato province.

In a landmark case, the provincial prosecutor's office in Digos City filed charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Alexis Noel Bravo and 15 others in the 27th infantry battalion for the alleged killing of Juvy Capion, who was three months pregnant, and her two sons on October 18.

For many rights groups the case has turned into a test of how far the current administration under President Benigno Aquino is willing to go to defend human rights in the Philippines.

"The soldiers ... should be punished for their barbaric act against the Capions," said Ryan Lariba, a spokesman for the rights group Bayan, one of many organizations which has called for criminal charges.

Juvy's husband Dagil Capion, a tribal B'laan leader who opposes Xstrata's joint-venture Tampakan mine project over environmental concerns, is considered a bandit by the military and is being hunted down.

The Tampakan mine is the single largest foreign investment in the Philippines at $5.9 billion. Operations have been held up there, due to a provincial ban on open-pit mining.

Last month, the government awarded the project an environmental compliance certificate thereby removing one of the hurdles to gold and copper mining operations at Tampakan, which prompted more criticism from rights and environmental groups.

"The killings and other human rights violations in the area could be prevented if the company did not encroach on [tribal] B'laan ancestral lands," said Lariba.

A public hearing conducted by the National Cultural Communities Committee of the House of Representatives on February 21 confirmed that the mine operation is giving one million pesos ($25,000) per month to the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit, a paramilitary group established in the late 1980s by Aquino's mother Corazon, also a former president.
The Philippines Commission on Human Rights has received hundreds of cases against the group over alleged torture, execution, disappearances, illegal arrests and detentions.

Sumitomo mining unit putting up scandium recovery plant in Palawan

By Czeriza Valencia

The Philippine Star

12 March 2013

MANILA, Philippines - Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd (SMM) is constructing a scandium recovery pilot plant in Palawan seen to be operational by 2014.

In a statement on its website, the company said small quantities of scandium are contained in the ore used by its majority-owned subsidiary Coral Bay Nickel Corp.(CBNC) in the production of nickel-cobalt mixed sulfide.

CBNC, which is based in Palawan, operates a high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plant in Palawan to produce nickel-cobalt sulfide.

"For some time, SMM has been working to develop a scandium recovery method at its Niihama Research Laboratories in Ehime Prefecture. This effort has now led to the attainment of technology enabling efficient recovery of scandium from the nickel-cobalt mixed sulfide production process," SMM said.

The scandium recovery plant to be constructed by the end of 2013 will conduct trial production at a level of 10 kilograms (kg) per month in 2014.

Based on the results of the test operation of the pilot plant, the company will decide on the construction of a scandium oxide production line of a commercial scale and the launch of a related business in 2015.

Scandium is a silvery-white metal classified as a rare earth element. It is used in a wide variety of applications such as enhancing the strength, heat resistance and corrosion resistance of aluminum; as an electrolyte used in solid oxide fuel cells; and as an electrode used in metal halide lamps and alkaline batteries.

Philex resumes mining in Benguet

By Anna Leah G. Estrada

Manila Standard

9 March 2013

Philex Mining Corp. said Friday it resumed mining operations in Padcal, Benguet, more than seven months after the mine was shut down due to tailings spill that affected the Balog creek.

Philex said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the company temporarily resumed its operations at Padcal mine at 12 a.m. Friday, following the orders of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Pollution Adjudication Board.

PAB, a quasi-judicial body, allowed Philex to resume operations after its board took note of the urgent need for the miner to repair a tailings storage facility, based on the findings of the MGB.

The MGB on Feb. 26 gave Philex the go-signal to resume operations at Padcal, following the payment of P1.034 billion in fines over the tailings spill.

MGB acknowledged the "urgent remediation measures" needed to bring TSF3 back into its original condition before the onset of the rainy season in June.

Philex Mining, through its international consultant Golder Associates, earlier said it needed 3.5 million tons of fresh tailings to fill the conical void and create a beach in its TSF3, which was designed to hold solids, and not liquid.

"This is truly an indication of the government's trust in us as a responsible mining company, to once again prove that we can continue working for economic progress while protecting the environment," Philex Mining president and chief operating officer Eulalio Austin Jr. said.

"We also owe this greatly to the trust that our investors, local government leaders and communities have given us," Austin added.

MGB and PAB gave Philex four months to temporarily use its tailings storage facility No. 3.

Philex incurred a net loss of P295 million in 2012, reversing the profit of P5.8 billion in 2011, following the closure of the Padcal mine and the negative performance of its petroleum unit.

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