Mining is not ‘recovery’


Efenita Taqueban and Gideon Lasco

miningIn the name of “recovery” from the pandemic, the Philippine government has opened up mining opportunities in the country, with the President recently lifting the ban on new mining agreements. On the heels of his order — EO 130 — came two announcements for the renewal of two agreements with large mining corporations: OceanaGold in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, and Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

These developments are disconcerting, for they are the exact opposite of what “recovery” should look like. If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it is that our environmental and human health are inseparable, and our abuse of nature will come to haunt us, not least in the form of viral outbreaks caused by our exploitation of animals, plants, and their habitats. Whatever short-term economic benefits to be had from mining (and studies show these never go to the affected communities), this remains a losing proposition when we consider its costs to our nation: finite natural resources, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.

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Green group supports ban on open-pit mining, protection of 'no mining zones'


Gaea Katreena Cabico 

mining2021 02 1819 30 29 2021 05 26 23 05 05An environmental activist group voiced its support for proposed measures declaring areas “no mining zones” and banning the open pit method of mining in the Philippines, a country rich in precious minerals.

In a position paper read at a hearing of a panel of the House of Representatives Wednesday, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment called for the urgent passage of House Bill 253 and House Bill 6450 which seek to limit mining in the Philippines.
House Bill 253, or the No Mining Zones bill, seeks to close all areas declared as “no mining zones” to mining applications. Meanwhile, House Bill 6450, or the Open Pit Mining Ban bill, aims to impose a moratorium on the open pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores in the country.

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First Pre-Consultation Meeting with the Xinka People on the Escobal Mine



BTS XinkaParliamentSignIndigenous Xinka authorities and the Ministry of Energy and Mines establish initial agreements regarding the pre-consultation process

The first pre-consultation meeting concerning the Escobal mining license was held on Friday, May 21 of this year in the offices of the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala. The purpose was to identify the entities that will participate as observers and to establish the first set of agreements about how the pre-consultation and consultation process will be carried out.

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Scientists, fishers say new mining deals to cause more damage than good


Adam Ang

mount dinkidayOceanagold’s mining operations in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya have dried up the sources of water, polluted the environment and crippled the livelihood of farmers. 
“We won’t be fooled by the pretext that reopening our natural resources to large-scale mining would help revive the pandemic-battered economy as it would inflict serious damage than repair.”

Environment defenders, including scientists and fishers, have debunked President Rodrigo Duterte’s justification for the lifting of the nine-year ban on new mining contracts.

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Human Rights Advocates and Legal Experts Deliver Blueprint for New International Corporate Accountability Law in Canada


Screen Shot 2021 05 11 at 16.32.58Today the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) releases draft model legislation that provides lawmakers with a blueprint for writing into Canadian law the corporate duty to respect human rights and the environment.

The draft model law, if adopted, would require Canadian companies to prevent human rights and environmental harm throughout their global operations and supply chains.

Similar laws are in place or being developed in several countries. Canada, however, is falling behind. Instead of legally requiring companies to respect human rights and the environment, Canada encourages them to voluntarily take measures to do so.

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Community and environmental concerns not “pertinent” to Pan American Silver’s business

Breaking the Silence

downloadVancouver-based mining company Pan American Silver held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 12th: the final shareholder meeting for retiring founder and Board Chair Ross Beaty. To shareholders attending online, Beaty narrated a glowing chronicle of Pan American Silver’s socially and environmentally responsible history in Latin America. Yet, when Breaking the Silence and other shareholders submitted questions regarding the social and environmental impacts of the company’s business on communities in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Argentina, they were ignored and their questions deemed not “pertinent”.

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