MAC: Mines and Communities

Church Still Oppose To Mining Firm Overtures

Published by MAC on 2007-01-29
Source: Sunstar Papanga

Church still oppose to mining firm overtures

Sunstar Papanga -

29th January 2007

THE local Catholic Church has renewed calls for the stoppage of the huge mining venture in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Bishop Dinualdo Guttierez of the Diocese of Marbel urged the public to staunchly oppose the copper and gold project of Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI).

In the past few days, the bishop's appeal was played daily at the diocesan-owned radio station, dxCP.

SMI project coordinator Rolando Doria earlier revealed that they have been extending a reconciliatory hand to the Catholic religious leaders in connection with the firm's planned exploitation of world-class mineral deposits in the area.

But Guttierez warned of poisoning, livelihood displacement, food insecurity and environmental catastrophe with the firm's looming full blast operations.

"If the firm will excavate the resources in Tampakan, they will cut the trees and it will cause floods. They will also use cyanides to process the resources and it will poison the fishes like tilapia," he added, referring to the water outflow from the project site ending towards Lake Buluan, where tilapia raising is a multi-million industry.

He said food security depends on human kind's care for the environment. Gutierrez stressed that if the environment will be abused, she will later unleashed her wrath to humans with "inconceivable damage."

The bishop discussed the "ecology of peace," wherein he pointed out that man and nature is related to each other.

Despite the rejection of the Catholic religious leaders of the Sagittarius project, Doria said they are still open to dialogues in the hope of convincing the church to support the venture, which the company claimed would enhance the economic growth in the area.

"Our doors are always open. We respect the position of any sector even if they are adversely against us," Doria added.

Tony Robbins, Indophil managing director, appeared unfazed by the opposition from the Catholic Church, claiming in a recent press release that the affected communities are fully supporting the project.

Robbins also pointed out the support from the national and local governments that the venture generated. (BBS)

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