MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Rebels threaten to disrupt Philippines mining operation

Published by MAC on 2006-06-14
Source: ABC News

Rebels threaten to disrupt Philippines mining operation

ABC News

14th June 2006

Communist rebels in the Philippines have threatened to halt the mining operations of the Australian firm Lafayette.

Production at the company's mine in the central Philippines was halted late last year after spills polluted rivers in the area, but the government has now allowed Lafayette to restart its operations for a 30-day trial.

A Communist rebel spokesman says action will be taken to stop the destructive operations of foreign mining corporations and has singled out the Australian company Lafayette.

He criticised the 30-day test run granted to Lafayette by the Environment Department, saying it was merely paving the way for the mining company to continue operations.

Demonstrators led by the environmental group Greenpeace massed in front of the Environment Department building in Manila, to protest against the Government's decision.

But a presidential spokesman defended the move, saying it was a balance between responsible mining and the creation of jobs for the people.

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