2 SMI workers injured

One of the two injured workers was identified as Belino Pagoon, 25. The two reportedly suffered injuries in the legs and have been declared out of danger. The company is expected to foot their hospital bills.

Workers at SMI are said to be strictly conforming to work safety nets such as wearing of hats and boots to avoid occupational hazards.

Last year, the firm suspended exploration activities following the fatal shooting of a worker in the mines development area.

The temporary suspension was to cool things off among conflicting tribal members, which was said to be the root cause of the killing.

SMI is presently conducting a pre-feasibility study in the towns of Tampakan in South Cotabato, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur.

According to the firm’s latest estimates, the Tampakan mine site can yield some two billion tons of mineral. It is touted as the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in Southeast Asia.

Based on SMI 2004 report, the mineral resource is estimated to be worth at least US$23 billion.

Mounting opposition to the mining project, mainly headed by the local Catholic Church, have continued  since SMI  took  over from Western Mining Corp. The opposition cites damage to the environment and the livelihood of people in the area, as reason behind their objections.