MAC: Mines and Communities

United Nations Body Writes To Philippine Government

Published by MAC on 2007-09-11

Philippines update

11th September 2007

TVI Pacific and Royalco have been prominent in the Philippines' press of late.

The United Nations body that deals with racial discrimination has written a strongly worded letter to the Philippine Government, concerned about events at Mount Canatuan. Meanwhile, arguments continue over whether the sulphide tailings dam at the site suffered a 'collapse' or 'soil erosion'.

The stand-off between Royalco's subsidiary, Oxiana Philippines, and local people at Nueva Viscaya continues, with accusation and counter-accusation flying while the barricades remain solid. A call has been made for a Congressional hearing on the case.

The Communist NPA is alleged to have threatened infiltration of the barricades, while some are concerned that its attacks on the controversial Rapu Rapu mine will provoke further militarisation.

In the light of the ongoing conflict yet more local governments have sought to issue ordinances banning mining, and the local Governor at Rapu Rapu has come out against new exploration.

Nonetheless, the President and her supporters continue doggedly to sell the mineral potential of the Philippines at international conferences (though now, at least, focussing on the importance of providing benefits to communities).

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