Mining | MindaNews


Ka Leody marches vs. lifting of open-pit mining ban in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 18 April)  – Presidential candidate and labor leader Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman marched in the streets of this...

Cantilan declared "no mining town"

SURIGAO DEL SUR (MindaNews) - Cantilan is “no mining town.”

This was the message of some 1,000 residents as they staged a four-kilometer march Monday to oppose the entry of two mining firms.

Tampakan project could be single largest investment for Mindanao

MAKATI CITY  (MindaNews/29 April) -- - Construction of the Tampakan project in South Cotabato may yet be the single largest investment ever for Mindanao, Richard Laufmann, Indophil Resources NL chief executive officer, said.

Last week, Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) announced the construction of the Tampakan project would cost $5.2 billion, including provision for associated infrastructure like power plant and ports.

"Arrest orders" out for SMI officials, Army officers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (April 25) – The National democratic Front (NDF) in Far South Mindanao  has ordered the New People’s Army to arrest on sight top officials of mining company Sagittarius Mines Inc. and several Army officers in connection with the murder of anti-mining activist Eliezer ‘Boy’ Billanes.

Marbel bishop leads protest vs coal plant in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 Apr) – Catholic church leaders today challenged residents to take up a bigger fight against the proposed 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sarangani province as they warned anew of a possible widespread environmental destruction in the area should the multimillion power project eventually push through.

Sagittarius bent on open pit mining

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 Apr) – Mining firm Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) is inching closer towards utilizing the controversial open-pit mining method for its proposed large-scale copper and gold mining project in the tri-boundaries of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur following the completion of the company's extended pre-feasibility study.

Aussie officials, SMI in closed-door security meet

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/31 March) – Officials from the Australian Embassy and top honchos from the Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) held a closed-door meeting with ranking military and police officials on security issues in the region in a posh restaurant here Monday evening.

Koronadal Bishop wants probe on killing of anti-mining leader


KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/10 March) – Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez and other church leaders here have urged authorities to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation on the killing of staunch anti-mining leader Eliezer Billanes at around 4 p.m. Monday.

Billanes, 46, married with three children and chair of the anti-mining group, Soccsksargends – Agenda, was gunned down four hours after his three-hour dialogue with barangay officials and an Army lieutenant following death threats he received, allegedly coming from the military.

Mamanwas lift barricade at Taganito mines; tribe to meet March 12 to settle internal...

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews/08 March) –  The Mamanwa tribe has lifted the barricade at the entrance of the production site of the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) in Claver, Surigao del Norte and chieftains are preparing a general assembly on March 12 to settle an internal conflict over who should benefit from the “largest royalty payment” ever made to a Philippine tribe in mining history.

Lumads say Mining Act has only worsened their lot

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 March) -- Fourteen years after it was signed into law, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 or Republic Act 7942 has failed to bring development to the indigenous communities, a lumad leader today said.

"Largest royalty payment" to Lumads divides Mamanwas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 February) –  The estimated 400 families of Mamanwas in five towns in Surigao del Norte ought to be celebrating: they now have P51.5 million, the “largest royalty payment”  made by a mining firm to a Philippine tribe, in their bank account.  And there will be more payments, for 2008 and every year thereafter, not only from the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) but the two other mining firms operating in their ancestral domain.

But no one is celebrating. Instead, there is “kagubot” (trouble).

Mining firm pays Lumads P51.5 million royalty

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 February) –  The “largest royalty payment” made by a firm to indigenous peoples in the Philippines for its mining operations in the latter’s ancestral domain was deposited Thursday by the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) to the bank account of the Mamanwa association in Surigao del Norte.

Mamanwa Datus vow to continue barricade despite payment of royalty

DAVAO  CITY  (MindaNews/20 February) -- The mining firm has deposited P51.5 million to the Surigao City bank account of the Mamanwa association but  Datu Reynante Buklas told MindaNews in a telephone interview that they will continue to barricade the  production site of the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) in Claver, Surigao del Norte until the amount is deposited to the joint account of Datu Alfredo Olorico and himself in Butuan City.

Soldiers hit for detaining nun, companions in Davao Oriental

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 Feb) -- A Benedictine nun has accused soldiers of detaining her and three environmental activists in the town of Cateel, Davao Oriental province on Feb. 16.

Sr. Stella Matutina said during the eight hours that they were briefly detained, soldiers of the Army 67th Infantry Battalion poked their guns at them, apparently mistaking them for communist guerillas.

"Mamma Mia! I thought that would be the end of us. Their Armalite rifles are so big," the nun told reporters during a press conference initiated by the Sisters Association in Mindanao (SAMIN).

Mamanwas continue barricade; mining firm vows to pay P51.5 million

TAGANITO, Claver, Surigao del Norte  (MindaNews/19 February) –  Representatives of the  Mamanwa tribe here have vowed to continue the barricade they set up since January 29 until the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) pays the royalty/share due them. 

TMC officials said they are willing and ready to pay the  P51.5 million royalty from July 2006 to December 2007 but are awaiting guidance from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on whose bank account the amount would be deposited.

Related story: No missing Mamanwa protesters, Datus say

No missing Mamanwa protesters, Datus say

TAGANITO, Claver, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/19 February) – There are no missing Mamanwa protesters, tribal leaders here said.

Datu Joel Buklas, Datu Reynante Buklas and Datu Alfredo Olorico told MindaNews that they have no missing members, contrary to earlier reports.

Mamanwa tribe now on their 2nd week of "human barricade" vs mining firms in...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 February) -- Some 400 members of the Mamanwa tribe are now on their second week of staging a  “human barricade” along the highway of Taganito in Claver, Surigao del Norte, demanding their right to one percent royalty from the gross output of the operations of four mining firms there.

Mamanwa members earlier sent notice of termination to the mining firms, informing them they will no longer allow mining in their ancestral lands, claiming  the firms failed to pay their one percent royalty fees since 1997.

MGB says CDO gov't issued mining permits in East Iponan watershed

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/ 01 Feburary) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau  (MGB) in Northern Mindanao said it is the local government of Cagayan de Oro that issued permits for small-scale mining operations in the East Iponan Watershed that, along with wanton destruction of the remaining forests, were blamed for the flash floods that sent hundreds of residential houses under water in early January.

Unrestrained mining may cause rice shortage, foreign environment experts warn

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/27 January) – A moratorium on mining is needed if the Philippines is to avoid a rice shortage in the long term, foreign environment experts today said in a presentation of a study done in six mining sites across the country.

Church remains firm on anti-mining stance

TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/13 January) – Investors may have spent billions of pesos for the development of a world-class copper and gold project here, but local church officials have remained firm on their stance to oppose mining operations in the province.

Bishop wants ban on open pit mining passed

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/05 January) -- Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez has renewed his call for the immediate passage of the proposed environment code of South Cotabato, which includes a ban on open-pit mining in the area.

SouthCot’sproposed environment code worries mining firm

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/11 May) -- The proposed environment code of South Cotabato province is making officials of a big mining firm nervous as it will ban the use of open-pit mining.

The foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc. had earlier expressed it prefers open-pit mining for its Tampakan copper and gold project.

Lumad leader says gold or copper or zinc, mining “destroys our sacred ground”

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay - "A cheap public relations stunt," a Lumad leader said of the Canadian-backed TVI Resource Development Philippines' announcement that it has ended its $25-million Canatuan gold and silver project in Zamboanga del Norte.

Davao Oriental gov downplays mining in favor of agri

MATI, Davao Oriental (MindaNews/19 Apr) -- Davao Oriental may have one of the country’s richest mining potentials, but Gov. Corazon Malanyaon prefers to downplay it, preferring to promote agriculture instead and the ecology.

Hot lumber found inside SMI compound; SMI denies ownership

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / April 4) – Illegally cut timber was discovered hidden behind a stack of hollow blocks and mounds of sands inside a core farm of the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Bishop warns of possible water crisis due to mining

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/03 April) -- Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez has warned of a possible water crisis in the downstream areas of the tri-boundaries of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Davao del Sur when the proposed large-scale copper and gold mining project in the area starts operating within the next two years.

Bishop fears violence in minesite as civilians train for “barangay tanods”

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/02 April) -- Hundreds of civilians are being trained as “barangay tanods” (village guards or paramilitary elements) to serve as “supplemental” security forces for Sagittarius Mines, Inc.,  a move Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez says is “not very good” as “we are becoming violent.”

PGD surprised by NPA charges against him

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 April) – Former Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Paul Dominguez said he was surprised that the Valentin Palamine Command of the New People's Army had charged him in its revolutionary court for his alleged involvement in “deceit, coercion and murder” in the mining area, saying he is no longer connected with  Sagittarius Mines, Inc.

NPA warns more attacks vs SMI

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 March) -- The Valentin Palamine Command of the New People's Army in Far South Mindanao on Friday said it will launch more punitive attacks against Sagittarius Mines, Inc. whose base camp in Tampakan, South Cotabato the communist-led armed rebels burned down on New Year's Day.

48 big mining firms want to operate in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 March) -- At least 48 large-scale mining applications have been filed in Bukidnon covering hundreds of thousands of hectares even if the local government has expressed opposition to the entry of large-scale mining, an official of the Bukidnon Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) said.

Nickel mining firm shut down 6 months ago to reopen in Agusan

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/11 March) -- A controversial small-scale nickel mining firm which shut down its operations six months ago will soon reopen under a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) but on the same mining site in Tubay, Agusan del Norte.

Farmers block drilling firm hired for gold explo in Surigao

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/06 March) – Workers of United Philippine Drillers (UPD), a drilling contractor commissioned by Kalayaan Copper Gorld Resources Inc for exploration activities in barangay Anislagan, Placer, Surigao del Norte, were forced to abandon their camp Thursday after farmers observed their second month of human barricade to block their entry to the mine site.

Residents picket mining firm’s office in Mati

MATI, Davao Oriental (MindaNews/04 March) -- Protesters from affected communities here picketed Monday the office of BHP Billiton, their spokesperson reading a statement announcing the filing in Metro Manila of several petitions against the “legality and constitutionality “ of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) and the Financial Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA) under the 1995 Philippine Mining Act.

NIA official warns of flashfloods in proposed mining site

LAKE SEBU, South Cotabato (MindaNews/27 Feb) – Downstream areas of the mountainous tri-boundaries of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur provinces are at risk of devastating flashfloods and landslides once a proposed large-scale copper and gold mining project in the area will commence, a top official of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) warned.

XStrata rejects Vale takeover bid

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 Feb) -- The world's sixth largest mining firm has reportedly rejected a takeover bid of Brazilian mining giant Vale for the former's vast interests worldwide.

In a report that appeared in several websites, XStrata Plc reportedly considered the $40 per share offer of Vale too low and is holding out from the multi-billion takeover talks.

49 firms file 64 mining applications in Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani area

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 January) --  At least 49 companies have filed 64 applications to explore gold, silver and other mineral resources in Southwestern Mindanao, a recent report from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) shows.

SMI hires world’s leading security provider

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / January 25) – Sagittarius Mines, Incorporated (SMI) announced Friday that it has hired the services of Catena Security, part of a network of leading provider of security guards.

Brazilian mining company in takeover tlaks with XStrata

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 Jan) -- A multibillion-dollar mega-deal between two of the world's biggest mining companies could have far-ranging implications in the ownership status of Tampakan-based mining firm Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI).

Group urges South Cot legislature to ban open pit mining

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/15 Jan) --  An umbrella organization of various groups opposed to mining has urged the provincial board of South Cotabato to ban open-pit mining in the province, citing a previous resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) opposing the operation of Western Mining Corp.

Hired Aussie security consultant fails to deter rebel attack on SMI

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / January 11) – Despite having allegedly hired a former member of a British elite security force, mining firm Sagittarius Mines Inc. still failed to anticipate and prevent a New Year's Day rebel raid that wrought at least P10 million damages in property of the company.

Bishop to SMI: “please leave, and our people will have peace”

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/09 January) -- The bishop here condemned the “terroristic act” against Sagittarius Mines, Inc. on New Year’s dawn but says they are “not surprised” it happened, having warned earlier that the presence of large-scale mining “would affect our peace and order situation.”

Consult the Lumad communities, IP rep says

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay  (MindaNews/09 January) -- “Consult us first.”

This was the reaction of Wilfredo Sanggayan, the indigenous peoples’ (IP) representative to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of this province, to a published report that mining firm Pacifica Inc. made a  P50-million loan to Zam-Iron Mining Corp. for the latter’s exploration of metal deposits in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

NPA abducts militiaman in Tampakan mines

TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/07 January) -- Suspected New People’s Army rebels abducted a militiaman from the minesite of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) along their escape route after the New Year’s dawn raid at the firm’s base camp.

Environmentalists, Lumads gear up vs entry of mining firms in Bukidnon

ST. PETER, Malaybalay City (MindaNews/January 5) -- At least 38 mining firms have applied for permits to exploit precious metals in Bukidnon, which, if approved, would replicate what logging companies did in the 1970s: partition among themselves the province's resource-rich areas for their profit-making ventures.

Sagittarius Mines to pursue exploration despite NPA attack

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / January 4) – Sagittarius Mines, Inc will not abandon its exploration activities in Tampakan town, South Cotabato despite losing P12 million to a guerrilla raid in its base camp in the town in the early hours of the New Year.

Troops deployed to secure Tampakan minesite

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/2 Jan) -- To prevent another attack on the facilities of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), elements of the Philippine Army will be fielded to the company’s base camp in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Rebels storm Tampakan mining camp, burn 2 buildings

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 January) -- Suspected communist rebels stormed early today a base camp of a mining company in the hinterlands of Tampakan town in South Cotabato and burned at least two buildings, police said this morning.

Barangay chair says people should decide to allow or not allow mining

ST. PETER, Malaybalay City (MindaNews/29 December) – The highest official in this village wants residents here and in neighboring villages in the Upper Pulangui area to decide if they would allow mining firms to operate here.

Domingo Hingpit, St. Peter barangay chair, said he wants the people, not just the barangay council, to decide on the issue.

T’bolis fight over mining rights

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 December) – T’boli natives and a cooperative are fighting for mining rights over a 21-hectare gold-rich land in Barangay Kematu.

Constancio Paye Jr., Mines and Geosciences Bureau – Region XII director, said they tried but failed to settle on Wednesday the conflict between T’boli natives and the T’boli Minahang Bayan Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Open pit method to be used in arsenic-laden Tampakan mine site

TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews/18 Dec) -- The group conducting mining explorations for gold and copper in the Tampakan, South Cotabato area will likely use the controversial open-pit mining method despite high arsenic content in the area.