MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Philippines update

Published by MAC on 2007-09-27


Philippines update

27th September 2007

Subanon leaders have been holding a 'sorrow ritual' at Mount Canatuan over TVI Pacific's gold mine. Two Bishops from Mindanao spoke at the UK parliament about problems brought by mining in the Philippines, concentrating on Xstrata's Tampakan project. Crew Minerals has been under pressure recently in Norway, after a broadcast on national TV about the proposed Mindoro Nickel project; the Governor there is pushing forward legal challenges to the project. The Mayor of Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya is being sued by Oxiana Philippines for his support of those manning barricades against the company. In nearby Didipio, Indigenous women leaders have filed a protest over the granting of water rights to Oceana Gold's proposed mine.


Subanens hold 'sorrow ritual' for sacred mountain

Ryan Rosauro, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mindanao Bureau

27th September 2007

OZAMIZ CITY--Fifty-six tribal leaders from Subanen communities in the Zamboanga Peninsula gathered in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, on Monday for a three-day "ritual of sorrow" for their sacred ground, Mount Canatuan, which they said is being destroyed by mining.

The fate of the mountain reflected "the utter disrespect of TVI for indigenous customs and traditions," said Timuay Jose "Boy" Anoy, host of the assembly. Canatuan is the principal area of operation of the Canadian-owned TVI Pacific Inc. through its Philippine subsidiary, TVI Resources Development Inc. It is the first foreign-owned venture to successfully operate under the Mining Act of 1995.

TVI said it did not trample on the cultural sensitivities of the Subanen by mining in Canatuan. It has repeatedly said that the mountain is not a sacred ground as it was not among the sites listed in the heritage inventory of the National Historical Institute.

Anoy, a member of the Apu Manglang Glupa' Pusaka (Descendants of Apo Manglang), said his people were in possession of a title to an ancestral domain territory that includes Canatuan. They are mourning its destruction in a ritual called the G'longosan sog koguba' nog Konotuan (Tears for the Destruction of Canatuan), he said.

The mining activities, he said, were "bad omen" for other Subanen communities in the region.

Mining interests have dotted the Zamboanga Peninsula since the Supreme Court reversed its earlier decision declaring the Mining Code unconstitutional, according to the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KSK), an environmental protection group.

Aside from its 508-hectare "operational tenement" in Canatuan, TVI alone has interest over a potential mineral area spanning Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The company filed applications for exploration agreements with the national government for production sharing or financial and technical assistance in the three provinces, a report of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Western Mindanao confirmed.

The area comprises 150,000 hectares of land, or six and a half times the size of Camiguin Island.

Anoy said TVI has been encroaching on the Subanen people's ancestral domain without their consent. The company said its Canatuan project had the support of a Subanen group called the Siocon Subanen Association Inc., then headed by a certain Mariano Tumangkis.


Bishops take mining issue to Brit parliament

UCANews (www.ucanews.com) -

20th September 2007

SIOCON, Philippines (UCAN) – After farmer Bernardino Anoy dipped his feet in the river not far from a gold mining pit here last August, he felt itchy all over his body.

The 46 year-old farmer lives in Mount Canatuan village of Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte province, where he and other villagers, mostly children, have developed sores and rashes on their skin. Other fishermen also told UCA News they have been catching fewer fish because the river is dirtier. They blame a local mining operation.

Mount Canatuan, about 700 kilometers (about 435 miles) southeast of Manila, has open pits dug by workers of the Canada-based Toronto Ventures Incorporated (TVI) Resource Development Philippines. For the past three years, the company has been extracting gold and silver from the area.

The community's situation is among cases of "environmental degradation" attributed to local mining operations that two Philippine bishops included in their report at a Sept. 17 session of a British parliamentary forum.

Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel and Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos of Butuan made the presentation. Both of their diocese are on Mindanao, the main southern Philippine island, as is Zamboanga del Norte. Butuan has mining operations in its territory.

Bishop Gutierrez chairs the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Anne Bungalon, administration officer of the commission's National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA), told UCA News that Irish Columban Father Frank Nally invited the prelates to speak on mining issues in the Philippines at the public forum in the Parliament.

Father Nally has devoted his ministry in recent years to campaigning for sustainable development. He served nine years as a missioner in the Philippines, mostly in the Mindanao region.

A Sept. 20 report of the CBCP confirmed that the two bishops attended the parliamentary forum, which was chaired by Member of Parliament Clare Short. Last year, Short and Father Nally led a delegation investigating the impact of foreign mining companies' operations on surrounding poor Philippine communities and the environment.

According to the website of the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), 23 mining-exploration projects are active in the country, a majority of them owned by foreign companies.

The Philippine bishops at the forum called on Parliament members and businessmen to "end" British investment in "destructive" mining in the Philippines, the CBCP report said.

Bishop Gutierrez reportedly told the forum about the 8,000-person rally Mindanao bishops led in May in front of Xstrata, an Anglo-Swiss mining venture, in Tampakan, Cotabato province, south of Siocon. The people protested the havoc they say the mining operations have brought on local communities.

Bishop Gutierrez's presentation also cited mining activities of other foreign companies including TVI, Bungalon told UCA News.

TVI started extracting gold from Mount Canatuan through open-pit mining in 2004. According to MGB records, the company extracted 1,531 kilograms of gold, worth 1.4 billion pesos (US$31 million), in 2006, after extracting 612 kilograms, worth 482 million pesos, the year before.

On its website, TVI claimed the company employs "widespread structural erosion-control measures, construction of tailings-management facilities, water-quality monitoring and management, and reforestation."

Nevertheless, in 2004, local Church groups and other Siocon residents who experienced or learned of destructive effects of TVI's mining activities launched Save Siocon Paradise Movement to resist mining operations. Movement president Godofredo Galos told UCA News that for the people of Siocon, the environment is "sacred," because they depend on it.

In a January 2006 pastoral letter, the CBCP asserted that "dislocation" of indigenous people and other communities, risks to health and livelihood and "massive" environmental damage outweigh the "promised benefits" of mining activities by transnational corporations. The bishops have been calling for repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, which allows foreign companies to explore and develop thousands of hectares in the country.


RP bishop speaks before London Parliament on mining

CBCP News - http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/226

17th September 2007

MANILA - Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace (ECSA-JP) Chair and Bishop of Marbel Most Rev. Dinualdo Gutierrez, DD, will speak on mining issues in the Philippines in a public forum in London Parliament today.

The meeting is chaired by Clare Short, a Member of Parliament, who led a fact-finding delegation in the country in 2006 to investigate the impact of destructive mining practices on poor communities and the environment. Bishop Gutierrez will speak on the controversial revitalized mining priority program (EO 270) of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that encourages further entries of foreign mining companies to explore the countries natural resources. Applying the methodology of See-Judge-Act methodology, Bishop Gutierrez will present before his audience the status of mining industry in the country, and how it contributed in environmental degradation and destruction of people's livelihood.

He will also present cases of mining companies whose non-compliance to government regulations have left both communities and environment devastated. He will cite as examples the cases of Lafayette in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, TVI in Siocon, Zamboanga and Marcopper in Boac.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have been very critical of the so-called 24 Priority Mining Project of the government and called for the closure of large scale mining projects.

In its pastoral letter issued in January 2006, the CBCP said "the promised benefits of mining by these transnational corporations are outweighed by the dislocation of communities especially among our indigenous brothers and sisters, the risks to health and livelihood and massive environmental damage."

Last May, the Mindanao bishops joined forces and staged protests to stop the open-pit copper and gold mining operation of Xstrata, an Anglo-Swiss company, in Tampakan, South Cotabato. Bishop Gutierrez said the mining activities pose great hazards to the environment and will displace the indigenous people of his diocese.

Speaking before an international forum, Bishop Gutierrez hope to bring to the international community a greater awareness of the evils that destructive mining practices havoc on the environment and the lives of people. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)


Aussie mining firm's lawsuit against Nueva Vizcaya dad slammed - Kalikasan PNE to mining firms, Arroyo administration: Stop harassing anti-mining LGU officials!

Kalikasan-PNE Press Release

28th September 2007

References: Clemente Bautista, Jr. Kalikasan-PNE National Coordinator (0922-844-9787)

Pro-environment activists today vowed to launch an "international shame campaign" against an Australian-owned mining firm for filing a lawsuit against Romeo Tayaban, Mayor of Kasibu town in Nueva Vizcaya, who supported his constituents in opposing its exploration project.

Atty. Virgil Castrol, legal counsel for Oxiana Philippines Inc. and its foreign partner RoyalCo, Ltd.of Australia, filed a petition at the local court in Nueva Vizcaya Wednesday, asking it to cite Mayor Tayaban in contempt. Mayor Tayaban and the majority of his constituents are opposed to an impending exploration by Oxiana Philippines, Inc. in five barangays of Kasibu (Pa-o, Kakidugen, Paquet, Dine & Katarawan) under Exploration Permit RO2-0014, which was extended by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau up to June 2009 despite the opposition of the affected communities. A barricade set up by Kasibu residents since July 2, 2007 has so far successfully blocked the entry of Oxiana's drilling equipment into Pa-o.

In a statement, Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) National Coordinator Clemente Bautista, Jr. slammed Oxiana's "latest lawsuit against community leaders opposed to their dirty, damaging and unacceptable exploration project".

"We categorically condemn Oxiana for harassing Mayor Tayaban through this complaint and obstructing his duties as a duly-elected local government official as Mayor of Kasibu. As a responsible government official, Mayor Tayaban has staunchly stood by the wishes of his constituents to reject Oxiana's mining exploration project," Bautista said.

Bautista called attention to the fact that Mayor Tayaban is not the only LGU official who has been pressured to support the Arroyo administration's mining projects.

"DENR Secretary Lito Atienza even had the temerity to tell Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn to reverse his declaration of a mining ban in Palawan. Other LGUs have also faced similar pressure but have asserted their constituencies rights to reject large-scale foreign mining. This year, North Cotabato Vice-Governor Manny Pinol declared a 'no mining' policy in his area of responsibility. In January 2002, the provincial government of Mindoro Oriental passed a resolution enforcing a 25-year mining moratorium," Bautista said.

Bautista announced that Kalikasan PNE and its network organizations would be "embarking on an international shame campaign against Oxiana Philppine's Australian partner, RoyalCo Resources of Australia".

"We will be exhorting RoyalCo's financial supporters and business partners to desist from supporting a mining firm which indiscriminately harasses local government officials and grassroots leaders and thereby causing human rights violations and disregarding the principle of free and informed prior consent from mining-affected communities. We will also be reaching out to pro-environment Australians who should be aware of how much environmental destruction and community displacements are being caused by Aussie firms such as RoyalCo," Bautista said.

Bautista described Oxiana's complaint as a "classic case of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)"

"SLAPPs are lawsuits ranging from libel to conspiracy used by powerful corporate entities against non-governmental individuals or groups defending issues of marginalized sectors, such as human, labor, peasant or consumer rights, environmental protection, national patrimony and the like," Bautista said.

"SLAPPs are a form of litigation filed by usually powerful entities against less financially-capable critics with the intention of intimidating and silencing them in the course of a lengthy and costly legal battle. Environmental groups in other countries have faced SLAPPs by commercial real estate developers, companies, and the like. In the Philippines, these "powerful entities" using SLAPPs are usually foreign-owned mining or logging firms or elite land-owning families who control and extract resources from vast tracts of lands," Bautista explained.

Bautista said that Mayor Tayaban is the 25th victim of a SLAPP suit by Oxiana in Kasibu. Oxiana earlier filed for a Temporary Restraining Order against 24 other indigenous people's leaders representing the Ibaloi, Ifugao, Kalanguya, Bugkalot, Kankaney, and Bontoc communities in Kasibu for holding the anti-exploration barricade, including Lucas Buay, an Ifugao leader and chairperson of the Council of Leaders of the Kasibu Inter-tribal Response Towards Ecological Development.

Other Philippine environmental advocates currently facing SLAPP suits include Frances Quimpo, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phils), a non-government organization (NGO) facing a P10 million libel suit from Australian-owned mining company Lafayette Philippines Inc. (LPI) which operates the Arroyo administration's controversial flagship mining project in the environmentally-critical island of Rapu-Rapu in Albay, Bicol. CEC-Phils is one of the NGOs actively involved in the campaign for LPI's closure and a moratorium on mining operations in Rapu-Rapu. LPI's Philippine partners, represented by Manuel Agcaoili, President of Rapu-Rapu Processing, Inc, and Bayani H. Agabin, Senior Vice-President of Rapu-Rapu Minerals, Inc., filed a complaint before the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office on July 9 against CEC-Phils' trustees, to answer for libel in their publication entitled "Rapu-Rapu A Struggle Against Mining Liberalization And Plunder In the Philippines". The publication was distributed when CEC-Phils visited and lobbied before Lafayette's financial shareholders in Australia last June 8.

Contact: CLEMENTE BAUTISTA

National Coordinator
Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy, Central, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org


Appellate court tells SR Metals to stop operations

BusinessWorld

24th September 2007

THE COURT of Appeals has ruled that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has the right to revoke the environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) of mining firms that have exceeded their extraction limits.

In a seven-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the former sixth division of the appellate court said: "At the risk of being repetitive, this Court emphasizes that it recognizes the DENR's authority to issue the [cease and desist order]."

"The Reorganization Act of DENR designates [it] as the primary government agency responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country's natural resources."

The resolution stemmed from the motion for partial reconsideration of SR Metals, Inc. San R Mining and Construction Corp., and Galeo Equipment Mining Corp., Inc. questioning an earlier decision that they violated ECC requirements by going beyond mining extraction limits.

The DENR earlier issued a cease and desist order that cancelled the groups' ECC for mining operations in a 20-hectare land in Tubay, Agusan del Norte.

The group extracted 177,297 metric tons for a nickel-cobalt small-scale mining operations, exceeding the 50,000-metric ton limit set by Presidential Decree 1899.

The group claimed Republic Act 7076 or the People's Small Scale Mining Act of 1991, which does not provide for extraction limits, repealed PD 1899.

Assuming the clause existed, the group claimed it still did not violate the law since the substance extracted was not purely ore.

The group further claimed the revocation of the ECC was based on allegations that it lacked the authority to engage in mining operations in their articles of incorporation.

The appellate court however said that the group" violated the conditions of the subject ECCs."

"Apart from their bare denial, petitioners have not submitted evidence to controvert proof on record that they have over capitalized and exceeded the labour cost to equipment ratio requirement."

MGB vouches for miner

Meanwhile, in Tacloban City , the exploration activities of Pacific Aluminum Mining ( Philippines ) Corp. (PAMC) in Samar were found to be legitimate and covered by a mineral production sharing agreement, the government said.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) regional office in Eastern Visayas would send a team to the regular session of the Samar provincial board today to make the clarification and convince the board to allow the mining company to resume operations, said Regional Director Loreto Alburo.

The board last week ordered the mining company to cease operations on suspicion that it started full-blast mining operations without securing permits. "I think the legislative body in the Samar province was only misinformed about the operations of this mining firm. That's why we have to clear this and lay down the exact facts and figures before this issue becomes bigger;" Mr. Alburo said.

He said PAMC has been using the mineral production sharing agreements issued to Alumina Mining Philippines, Inc. and the Bauxite Resources, Inc. The companies have been acquired by PAMC.

Mr. Alburo also said that based on regular monitoring, PAMC was still in the exploration stage and has not started actual mineral extraction. "I can guarantee that what PAMC is doing right now is just exploration works and not actual extraction. After doing the exploration works, it would take .at least two years for a mining company to do some actual extraction of the mineral they are mining," Mr. Alburo said.

PAMC is exploring the towns of Jiabong, Motiong, and Paranas, all in Samar , for bauxite.

Mr. Alburo said the MGB was aware that PAMC has gathered 5,000 metric tons of soil from the three towns for testing and sampling for bauxite.

He added that PAMC needed an additional 10,000 metric tons for sampling purposes.

The bureau has issued to PAMC an ore transport permit for 15,000 metric tons of samples.

"The provincial board in Samar has to be informed about this because there are technicalities involved in this issue. And that our agency is the authorized office regarding mining operations like this," Mr. Alburo said.

He warned that the other mining companies might be discouraged to invest in Eastern Visayas if PAMC's operations are hampered. He earlier projected that the region would attract up to $50 million worth of mining investments in three to five years.

Samar and Northern Samar provinces are rich in bauxite and manganese while Eastern Samar holds chromite and nickel. Southern Leyte is rich in copper and gold while Eastern Leyte has huge reserves of magnetite sand or iron ore. Western Leyte has industrial minerals like limestone and rock phosphate. - Ira P. Pedrasa and Lemuel L. Pagliawan


Governor Will Stop Norwegian Mine Project

Local authorities are preparing court action to stop the nickel projects planned by Crew Minerals ASA on the Philippine island of Mindoro. The partly Norwegian-owned Crew Minerals also lacks approval from an extremely critically disposed indigenous population in the area of operation.

First published in Norwegian By Knut-Erik Helle, Norwatch, 23 Sept 2007

Crew Minerals ASA plans to produce 60,000 tonnes of valuable nickel yearly in the operating area in the mountains of Mindoro. The start-up, planned to take place in 2011, is expected to cost 1,7 billion USD.

But the giant adventure may now end before the company can start operations. The provincial governor of Mindoro, Arnan Panaligan, is preparing court action to put a stop to the mining project permanently. In 2002 the province instituted a 25-year moratorium against any kind of mining operation on the island, and Crew Minerals’ test drilling for nickel is thereby at variance with local legislation. The case is about to end up in the Philippine Supreme Court.

To the Supreme Court

“We are now working to take legal action against Crew Minerals ASA for breach of our moratorium against mining operations”, Arnan Panaligan told Norwatch. “The company will insist that the national authorities have given permission for the test drilling for nickel on Mindoro. We are prepared to take court action and feel sure that we can defend our legislation. We are fighting for our environment and the welfare of the local population here”, the governor established.

Hans Christian Qvist, managing director of Crew Minerals ASA, is not afraid that local moratoriums against mining operations or local opposition can stop the project. “Local moratoriums are disallowed by the state government. Previously we had to have a series of permissions from the local authorities, but not any more. Now everything takes place at the national level”, the mining director explained to Norwatch.

At present it is the Ministry of Justice in the Philippines that claims that the local moratoriums are in conflict with the country’s Constitution. It will be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether the local moratoriums are legally binding.

Food Security

Food security and possible environmental damage are the main reasons that the local authorities now want the projects stopped. The area suggested for mining operations is located in an ecologically vulnerable area with watershed. Operations here can have large negative consequences.

“Mining operations in watersheds is prohibited according to Philippine legislation. If we get large-scale mining operations in this area, it will intensify the flooding problem in our province. It will create great problems for our population and for the important agricultural areas here”, Governor Arnan Panaligan claims.

Mindoro is known to be “Manila’s food granary”, and large floods have previously destroyed entire crops in the province.

Approval from the Indigenous Population

To receive final approval for mining operations, Crew Minerals is in addition dependent on approval from the local indigenous population, the Mangyans. Hans Christian Qvist, the managing director, admitted to Norwatch that these agreements are not ready yet but claimed that the company has a good dialogue with the indigenous population and that they are prepared to accept mining operations on the land areas where they live.

Several of the leaders of the indigenous population have, however, expressed to Norwatch that they will fight against Crew Minerals’s mining project, which will occupy approximately 100 km2 of jungle.

“No matter what happens, we will fight for the land we have inherited. We will not let anyone destroy our jungle. We are poor, and still they want to destroy the land we have inherited from our ancestors”, Ramil Baldo of the Alangan tribe told Norwatch.

His father is also worried: “If they continue with their plans for mining operations, what will happen to us? We did not invite them here to our jungle. They just came”, said Maximo Baldo.

Dependent on the Jungle

The Alangans of the Mangyan tribe are dependent on the jungle to carry out shifting cultivation, and the forest provides the indigenous population with much of what they need to maintain their traditions. In addition, the forest has an important spiritual significance.

“When I saw that the mining company had started working in the forest, I became frightened. I felt the forest’s own fear. That is how it is for us. This is not what our ancestors wanted for the forest. The mining operations will just make rich people richer”, tribal leader Ramil Baldo told Norwatch.

Not only the local authorities and parts of the indigenous population but also environmental organizations and the Catholic church in the Philippines are strongly opposed to the mining project on Mindoro.

Catastrophic Deforestation

Crew Minerals’s planned mining project involves approximately a fifth of the remaining forest on Mindoro. The previous deforestation of the island was catastrophic. In the fifties the forest covered a million hectares; today only 50,000 hectares remain for the unique and endemic biodiversity of the island.

The mining area is located in the heart of the suggested nature preserve Mangyan Heritage Park and is designated by the authorities as an “extremely high priority” area for plants, animals and birds.

“Opposition to our mining project is due to lack of information”, according to Qvist, the managing director. He believes that previous irresponsible mining operations have coloured the opinion of many on Mindoro. The company will use the time up until project start-up in 2011 to provide good information and show the big picture.

Norwegian Owners in Crew Minerals ASA

Of the 20 largest investors in Crew Minerals ASA, a total of 13 are Norwegian companies and funds. Altogether the 13 Norwegian investors control almost 29% of the company.

-MUSLIK AS
-UMOE INVEST AS
-KAUPTHING ASA
-A.WILHELMSEN CAPITAL
-AWECO INVEST AS
-VOLLVIK INVEST AS
-MONS HOLDING AS
-DNBNOR SMB VPF
-FIRST SECURITIES ASA
-LOJ HOLDING AS
-TERRA VEKST VPF
-STIFTELSEN STATOILS PENSJONSKASSE
-NORDEAFONDENE AS


Didipio Women Challenge Mining Company and Affiliate: File Opposition to Water Permit Application

LRC-KSK press statement

26th September 2007

Today, women leaders from the Indigenous Peoples of Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya oppose the series of water permit applications filed by North Luzon Sustainable Development Corporation (NLSDC), an affiliate of OceanaGold Phils. for its mining operations.

Today, they filed a Protest with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to defend their 'prior vested rights' over the utilization of waters sources in their community. The women leaders assert that they have been using for at least thirty (30) years the water that come from the natural springs for drinking, washing, bathing, cooking, watering of vegetable gardens and animals and other domestic uses.

NLSDC's first application will directly affect the farmlands and vegetable plantations of farmers as they plan to divert and utilize the waters from rivers in Didipio for mining operations. The plan poses a big threat to farmers as this would deprive them of water to their farms. Moreover, discharged contaminated water from the mine processing plants will adversely affect the quality of water in the rivers citing animal, human, and environmental hazards.

They also add, NLSDC's three other water permit applications for domestic use is completely unnecessary because water supply from the natural springs is safe, sufficient and adequate. Barangay Didipio has an existing water system, managed and maintained by the barangay council for effective and equitable distribution of water for the whole community. They are using a simple water impoundment (embankment) system that supplies water to houses thru hoses attached to it. Like all other typical rural communities, women members of the family usually attend to domestic chores. They find that the mining operation poses a big threat to their everyday life. They fear, among others, that as a result of mining operations and the extraction process that requires huge volume of water, their water supply coming from natural springs shall be depleted.

'Water is Life', and water as a natural resource, should be allocated in the interest and beneficial use of a far greater number of people. To allow OceanaGold to use water for its mine operations in Didipio will definitely deprive the community of an adequate water supply and lead to the contamination and pollution of the waters. Experience proves that mine waste effectively destroys every single lifeform it touches. The major rivers of Mogpog and Boac in Marinduque are still considered dead as of today eleven (11) years after the Marcopper Mine disaster in 1996 when mine tailings (waste) leaked and flooded into the rivers.

Moreover, NLSDC has not obtained the necessary local government consent from the affected LGUs, in violation of Sections 2 (c), 26 and 27 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

NLSDC's water permit application for mining purposes and the construction of a dam and tunnel across private lands, most of which are crop land, clearly falls under the enumeration of the projects requiring prior consultation and local government consent under the Local Government Code.

Ronald A. Gregorio
Campaigns/ Paralegal
LRC-KsK/FoEI Luzon Regional Office
87 B Madasalin St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
email: harold.lrc@gmail.com

 

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