MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/22 March) – Small-scale miners operating in Pantukan, Compostela Valley today said they will not give up the area to large-scale mining interests.
In a statement issued at the end of its 4-day camp-out today along the town’s national highway, the Federation of Small Scale Miners of Compostela Valley (FSSMCV) vowed to resist the entry of transnational mining corporations “like our Mandaya ancestors fought the colonizers.”
“US-Canada’s mining giants guarded by P-Noy’s mining militias have come to displace us economically and physically from our source of living, our home, the only way we know how to live,” the statement said, referring to mining firm Russell Mines-St. Augustine.
FSSMVC said that although they understand the geohazards in some areas of Pantukan not all areas should be closed to small-scale operations. They attributed the order for them to leave Pantukan to the Aquino government’s “bias for large-scale and foreign miners.”
The group added that Russell-St. Augustine’s offer of compensation to some tunnel and ball mill owners will not make them leave their panning areas.
Landslides had occurred in some mining sites in Pantukan last year and early this year killing at least 20 miners. (MindaNews)