[In the news] SP studying proposal to declare Tampakan a protected watershed – MindaNews

MindaNews » SP studying proposal to declare Tampakan a protected watershed.

By Bong S. Sarmiento

by January 29, 2012

 BANGA, South Cotabato—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato is studying the proposal of the local Catholic Church to declare the mountains in Tampakan as a protected watershed, a senior official said on Saturday.

Vice Gov. Elmo Tolosa confirmed the provincial board has received the letter of Fr. Gillarme Joy Pelino, Social Action Center director of the Diocese of Marbel, asking to declare the mineral-rich mountains of Tampakan as a protected watershed.

“We have discussed the proposal and came to an agreement that it should be studied carefully,” Tolosa told MindaNews at the sidelines of a tree planting activity here.

Once the Tampakan mountains will be declared a protected watershed, any forms of mining and other environmentally-destructive activities will eventually be banned in the area.

Sagittarius Mines, Inc., which is backed by Xstrata Copper, the world’s fourth largest copper, has been pursuing the Tampakan project, touted as the largest known undeveloped copper-gold deposit in Southeast Asia.

But the bid to bring it on commercial stream suffered a major blow early this month after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources rejected its application for an environmental compliance certificate.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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