MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Subanon Leader accuses TVI’s CREDO of lying

Published by MAC on 2007-06-22

Subanon Leader accuses TVI’s CREDO of lying

By Tito Natividad Fiel, DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI)

22nd June 2007

Paduan, Candiz, Siocon Zamboanga del Norte – Timuay Jose “Boy” Anoy accused TVI Pacific’s Community Relation and Development Office (CREDO) personnel of lying to the assembled Subanon and treating them like children who know nothing about mining.

Timuay Anoy criticized Cate Tosco, the company’s geologist with its exploration team, during the course of a consultative assembly at Anoy’s Tribal Hall.

Cate Tosco, who said she had been in the exploration services of TVI as geologist for two years, told the assembled people that TVI was applying only for exploration, which has less impact on the communities and environment.

She explained that “the equipment used in exploration, such as a GPS and a tiny hammer could be placed in a small bag, which would have precisely no impact. There would be no heavy equipment, as erroneously assumed by the people”.

But Timuay Anoy argued that Ms. Tosco failed to tell the truth, because what they are applying for is a Production Sharing Agreement, which if approved will be a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) between company and the government.

“What TVI’s speaker said was basically untrue and full of lies, because under the Philippine Mining Act the company can get an exploration permit for two years which would be renewable for another two years, although not more than six years”, Timuay Anoy stressed.

He said that experience showed that TVI’s exploration of the 508 hectares of land around Mount Canatuan between 1995 and 2003 was extremely intrusive. The exploration program started by excavating about fifty tons of ore per day for the first six months, then increased from seventy five to one hundred fifty tons per day for the next six months until the end of the year it increased again to around 500 to 750 tons per day. This was before the large-scale open-pit extraction started, so they had seen what exploration could mean.

Anoy said that when TVI found out there was enough gold and other minerals to mine profitably, they effectively proceeded to operation because they had supposedly already obtained the consent from the community at exploratory level.

In 1997, the London based mining company Rio Tinto applied for a Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) in the Zamboanga Peninsula. In order to get the consent of Subanon from Sindangan Zamboanga del Norte it deceitfully convinced them not to worry because their activities will only be an exploration. But in 1999, the company withdrew from the Philippines when the deceitful actions of its staff in the FPIC application exposed to the local, national and international communities.

 

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