Another landslide has tragically swept away small-scale miners in the Philippines, in the gold rich Compostela Valley on Good Friday.
Even as rescuers struggled through the mud, the military were destroying the miners’ houses to stop them returning – and arguments over mining became re-ignited.
Local and national government are looking at how they can regulate, or more likely ban, small-scale miners from dangerous areas. However, as the Catholic Church and environmental NGOs point out, the government is still seeking to license large-scale miners in place of the artisanal miners: how much better would these companies be in dealing with such difficult tropical conditions?
The disaster  happened in the region of Xstrata‘s planned Tampakan project. The companies involved in Tampakan continue to lobby for lifting  the open-pit mining ban that would affect the project. It has also occurred on the island where tribal leaders have recently reiterated their call for the end of large-scale mining activities, believing it will lead the destruction of ancestral domain, environment, and life.