Farmers group holds shame campaign against Sagittarius Mines Inc
Says mining in Tampakan will gravely impact agriculture and water resources
Manila – Farmers and mining activists staged a shame campaign against Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), yesterday in front of SMI Head Office, in Ayala Avenue, Makati City.
Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) together with Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) gathered in front of LKG Building where the SMI Head Office is located, for a silent protest and distribution of leaflets showing the negative impacts of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project to the agricultural lands and water resources of the four provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur and Sarangani.
They claimed that other than the many hazards that may be triggered by the said project, what is more alarming is the immediate impact to agricultural land and communities downstream of the open-pit mining operation.
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said, “The actual mining operation will dig up an 800-meter deep and 500-hectare wide open pit, located at the headwaters of 7 river systems affecting water supply reserve for residential and irrigation purposes.“
Studies by the London Working Group on Mining found that the mine development in Tampakan “will draw down the capacity of catchments that supply drinking water and irrigation water to NIA irrigation systems that sustain 200,000 hectares of agricultural land for 80,000 farmers in South Cotabato alone.”
Garganera concluded, “The negative impacts of the proposed mining project are so high that we cannot believe the idea of it being passed to move towards construction and actual development stage, like what SMI press releases are saying. We have reasons to believe that the DENR — Environment Management Bureau (EMB) will really find it a big challenge to issue an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to SMI and its partners.”
The Tampakan mining project is partly located in South Cotabato, which has a Provincial Environmental Code that bans open pit mining in the area. The Tampakan mining project proponents on the other hand wants this provision to be lifted to give way for their project.
Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) is an alliance of farmers and food security advocates in the Philippines.
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy & Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61