News

Gov’t finalizing terms for OceanaGold’s FTAA renewal

Manila Bulletin

Madelaine B. Miraflor

Screen Shot 2021 05 05 at 23.56.30Australian-Canadian miner OceanaGold Corporation (OceanaGold) and the Philippine government are now finalizing the terms of their updated Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the resumption of the operations of the Didipio gold and copper mine in Nueva Vizcaya.

In a regulatory filing with the Toronto Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange, OceanaGold disclosed that it had multiple meetings with Philippine government officials in December to finalize the terms of the FTAA renewal.

It also said the renewal is expected to be endorsed to the Office of the President for approval. 

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A New Environmentalist Playbook An improbable victory in El Salvador offers lessons for grassroots activists worldwide

PROSPECT

Sasha Chavkin

Chavkin Water Defenders review 032321From tropical rain forests to drinkable water, a vast share of the planet’s essential environmental resources are found in developing countries. When growth-oriented governments and powerful Western corporations set their sights on these lands, or the minerals beneath them, local people standing in their way frequently find themselves bulldozed.
In the era of climate catastrophe, these injustices take on a new urgency. Our future standard of living—even for those in wealthy areas like, say, Texas or California—is now tied to our collective ability to conserve some environmental resources and leave others in the ground. Due to climate science if not solidarity, the prospects of local communities and activists for notching environmental wins against wealthy and well-connected companies take on a more global significance. The climate crisis adds a dose of dread to a question long pondered by environmentalists: How can poor countries and communities protect the environment when the system is stacked against them?

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Australian-Canadian mining company OceanaGold misleads public on Filipino mine

Greenleft

Ron Guy

305 oceanagolds mine at didipio cr oceanagold via twitterSpokesperson for the Australian National Campaign on Mining in the Philippines (ANCoMP) Andrew Morrison believes that Australian-Canadian mining company OceanaGold is misleading the public about its mine in Didipio in Central Luzon.

The Philippine government said it would renew the company’s right to mine in Didipio last December. OceanaGold said that proved it was “a responsible multinational miner” and that it had the strong endorsement of residents in local communities in and around the mine, including Indigenous people.

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‘Complete turnaround’: Philippines’ Duterte lifts ban on new mining permits

MONGABAY

Leilani Chavez

Screen Shot 2021 05 06 at 01.29.19President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted a ban on issuing licenses for new mining operations in the Philippines, marking an about-face from a previous anti-mining stance that saw him ban open-pit mining in 2017 and close or suspend 26 mining operations for environmental violations.
The government says the industry, which contributed 0.76% to the country’s GDP in 2020, is important in resuscitating an economy bogged down by the COVID-19 pandemic, by generating revenue and jobs and contributing to Duterte’s flagship infrastructure program.
Duterte’s pivot in favor of mining goes back to 2019, when the government allowed the operation of suspended mining firms and pushed for the rehabilitation of government-owned mines, particularly nickel mines, to cater to Chinese demand for nickel.

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El Salvador’s Water Defenders and the Fight Against Toxic Mining

SIERRA CLUB

John Gibler

Screen Shot 2021 05 11 at 01.31.50In 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metal mining. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh present the story of the social struggles and legal battles behind that ban in The Water Defenders (Beacon Press, 2021).

Broad and Cavanagh spent over a decade collaborating with the international solidarity movement supporting the Salvadorans’ fight against a proposed Pacific Rim gold mine. Their account is rife with valuable detail about the mobilizations, negotiations, alliance building, international campaigns, and legal maneuvers that stopped the Pacific Rim mining concession and led to the national ban.

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What Salvadoran Activists Can Teach Us About Building Coalitions

The Nation

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

Broad Cavanagh El Salvador getty imgIn March 2017, people from poorer communities across El Salvador stood up to corporate power and convinced their legislature to make their country the first in the world to ban mining to save its precious rivers. Their battle cries: “Water, not gold” and “Water for life.” In the process of their 13-year fight, these water defenders organized a national coalition that came to be known as La Mesa.

This essay is adapted from Robin Broad and John Cavanagh’s The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country From Corporate Greed.

During those years, Marcelo Rivera and three other defenders were brutally assassinated. But Marcelo’s brother Miguel, their friend Vidalina Morales, and the members of La Mesa never gave up. They linked up with international allies to defeat a lawsuit by OceanaGold, a multinational firm that argued the Salvadoran government did not have the right to prohibit mining.

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