Efforts to bring the massive Tampakan copper-gold project to commercial phase suffered a major blow after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources rejected the proponent’s application for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
Documents obtained by the Diocese of Marbel showed that Environment Secretary Ramon Paje rejected the ECC application of Sagittarius Mines, Inc., (SMI) due to the open-pit mining ban imposed by the provincial government of South Cotabato.
Sagittarius Mines is controlled by Xstrata Copper, the world’s fourth largest copper producer. Xstrata is based in Switzerland but listed on the London Stock Exchange.
See http://www.mindanews.com/environment/2012/01/13/denr-denies-smi%E2%80%99s-ecc-application-smi-to-appeal-for-reconsideration/.
Philippines: Another natural disaster reignites the mining debate
Shortly before Christmas 2011 the Philippines reconfirmed its reputation for natural disasters when tropical storm Washi (local name Sendong) caused devastation on the north coast of Mindanao. As previously, the cause of much of the catastrophe appears man-made, thanks mainly to the denudation of forest cover on the watersheds.
Although the Philippine mining industry was quick to note there was no large-scale mining that would have directly affected this particular tragedy, the role of mining in the region has been highlighted again. It has certainly highlighted the exemption that allows mining companies to continue logging despite bans put in place after similar incidents.
Then on January 5th a subsequent landslide hit a gold-mining area, which is subject to such incidents, with an estimated 25 fatalities. This particularly highlighted the potential for widespread disaster at Xstrata‘s nearby Tampakan project.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11405&l=1.