[Statement] MGB must suspend all mining operations in Mindanao -ATM

Assessment of stability of mine facilities demanded

Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is calling on the MGB to suspend all mining operations in Mindanao and immediately conduct assessments to determine the stability of mine areas, given the recent series of earthquakes that hit Mindanao region in the past weeks.

With the recent Magnitude 6.6 quake in Cotabato affecting areas as far as Davao City and Iligan City, the structural and geological stability of mine areas and mine facilities must be clearly established by the MGB, so that the safety of communities around the mine sites are ensured.

ATM is particularly concerned with the area surrounding South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat which has received the serious damage from the earthquakes that hit on Oct. 16 and Oct. 29 2019.

This is the same area covered by the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project, owned by Sagittarius Mines, Inc. and the Tampakan Mining Group.

In a case review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tampakan Mining Project, environmental and mining experts have previously raised issues about the fault lines that will allegedly impact some of the mine facilities inside the mine area.

ATM believes that the MGB should prioritize first a geologic assessment review, before promoting additional mining projects in the region. Without this geologic assessment, the Tampakan mining project must continue to be shelved.

MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano was quoted in media reports last Oct. 25, 2019, that the Tampakan Mining Project is expected to operate in the near future, as Malacanang has ordered the reinstatement of its Environmental Compliance Certificate or ECC.

Former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez cancelled the ECC of the Tampakan Mining Project last 2017, after failing to secure permitting requirements from local government and indigenous peoples.

It is also in the interest of the mining companies and their operators that the safety and welfare of both their employees and communities around their mines are assured. #

For more details:
Jaybeee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 5498218 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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