OceanaGold Philippines

Mining is not ‘recovery’


Efenita Taqueban and Gideon Lasco

miningIn the name of “recovery” from the pandemic, the Philippine government has opened up mining opportunities in the country, with the President recently lifting the ban on new mining agreements. On the heels of his order — EO 130 — came two announcements for the renewal of two agreements with large mining corporations: OceanaGold in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, and Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

These developments are disconcerting, for they are the exact opposite of what “recovery” should look like. If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it is that our environmental and human health are inseparable, and our abuse of nature will come to haunt us, not least in the form of viral outbreaks caused by our exploitation of animals, plants, and their habitats. Whatever short-term economic benefits to be had from mining (and studies show these never go to the affected communities), this remains a losing proposition when we consider its costs to our nation: finite natural resources, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.

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Green group supports ban on open-pit mining, protection of 'no mining zones'


Gaea Katreena Cabico 

mining2021 02 1819 30 29 2021 05 26 23 05 05An environmental activist group voiced its support for proposed measures declaring areas “no mining zones” and banning the open pit method of mining in the Philippines, a country rich in precious minerals.

In a position paper read at a hearing of a panel of the House of Representatives Wednesday, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment called for the urgent passage of House Bill 253 and House Bill 6450 which seek to limit mining in the Philippines.
House Bill 253, or the No Mining Zones bill, seeks to close all areas declared as “no mining zones” to mining applications. Meanwhile, House Bill 6450, or the Open Pit Mining Ban bill, aims to impose a moratorium on the open pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores in the country.

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Scientists, fishers say new mining deals to cause more damage than good


Adam Ang

mount dinkidayOceanagold’s mining operations in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya have dried up the sources of water, polluted the environment and crippled the livelihood of farmers. 
“We won’t be fooled by the pretext that reopening our natural resources to large-scale mining would help revive the pandemic-battered economy as it would inflict serious damage than repair.”

Environment defenders, including scientists and fishers, have debunked President Rodrigo Duterte’s justification for the lifting of the nine-year ban on new mining contracts.

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Philippines' Duterte lifts ban on new mining deals

Yahoo Finance

Screen Shot 2021 05 06 at 01.24.23Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially lifted a nine-year ban on new mining projects Thursday, in a controversial move aimed at boosting state revenue and spurring investment in the country's coronavirus-devastated economy. The mining industry has stagnated since 2012 when Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino, imposed a moratorium on new projects following public backlash over a series of devastating mining accidents. The executive order released Thursday was welcomed by the mining sector -- but green groups branded the decision "outrageous" and warned it could lead to more environmental disasters.

Duterte -- who had previously threatened to shut down the mining sector completely -- is facing growing criticism over his handling of the pandemic that has crippled the economy and thrown millions out of work.

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