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Who benefits from mining gold? Not Lobo, Batangas!

June 21, 2015

…Not the people living in and around the mining area, that’s for sure.  Please help save Lobo, Batangas (beside Laiya) from destruction!  Spread the word!


“…(M)ost, if not all, of the barangay captains who gave their assent to mining–it turns out– did not know what open pit mining entailed. They were told that it would create jobs but did not realize that modern mining is not labor intensive and that it will, in the long run, and for hundreds of decades to come, impoverish them even more. They did not have the faintest idea that the soil upon which they derive crops will no longer be fit for planting, the seas from which they obtain food will die from pollution and poisoning, and the forested mountains that give them fresh air will be blown away.”

“…(A)ll that Lobo now boasts of, environmentally, geographically and historically, are in grave danger of being destroyed. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is now seriously considering the application for gold mining operations in Lobo by Egerton Gold Phils. Inc. It is frightening that the proposed mining in Lobo will cover a vast expanse of land areas: one will have 137.1 hectares while the other, 125.2 hectares. It will impact nearly all of the coastal barangays, as well as the Mabilog na Bundok. The projects’ fact sheets, albeit couched in sanitized technical terms, cannot conceal alarming facts. The waste types the mining will produce, according to the fact sheets, will affect the soil and water, specifically: “overburdens and waste rocks, domestic waste and garbage construction wastes, debris, tree cuttings, oily waste water from minor oil leaks from equipment, etc.” The major impacts will be: “disturbance of the existing terrestrial flora and fauna, disturbance of the existing access roads or construction of new roads, disturbance of the site topography or landform, discharge of treated waste water to adjacent surface water bodies and potential disturbance of aquifers during ore extraction.” In laymen’s terms, the impact will mean driving away and eventually killing the wildlife inhabiting the forests of Lobo as trees will be cut and the earth will be destroyed by explosions to extract the minerals. It will also mean that the water resource for the entire community will be diminished as the mining operations will compete for substantial amounts of water for its operations. …The book “Rich Lands, Poor People,” said, mining in India, contrary to the government’s claims, has done little for the development of the mineral-bearing regions. Chandra Bhushan, one of the authors, said: “Mining has not benefited people; instead, it has impoverished local environments and displaced people.” The book also said, “All state governments justify mining arguing that the sector will provide employment, but this is a chimera.””

“…MRL Gold has explored 29,000 hectares of land encompassing several villages of Lobo; it is allowed to explore 10 percent of the town’s total land area, majority of which are mountainous and plains suitable for culti-vation. The company has already drilled 173 holes for the exploration, each approximately one kilometer deep, in barangays (villages) Pulang Lupa and Kay Tanda to check for gold deposits. Lobo is home to nearly 40,000 people, as well as to Mount Banoi, a watershed that provides potable water for the people of Batangas. Several concerned groups like the Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (Bukal), an inter-organizational and multi-sectoral alliance of church people, professionals and people’s organizations, together with Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan), conducted a fact finding mission last February 21 and 22 to deter-mine the possible impact of mining in the town. According to their assessment, as soon as the actual mining operation in Lobo begins, potable water sourced from Mount Banoi would be contaminated as chemicals, such as mercury and lead, which are used in separating minerals from ore, would eventually mix with the water. Residents and NGOs have started consultations against MRL Gold. Shown at centre in bottom photo is Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Batangas conferring with them. This contamination would bring sickness and possibly death to people, the advocates said. The contamination of water from Mount Banoi would also kill marine life in rivers and lakes in the area. There is a possibility that open-pit mining would leave Lobo’s land forever useless.”

“BUKAL along with KALIKASAN People’s Network for the Environment (PNE) – Southern Tagalog stood against large-scale foreign mining during the public hearing of Mindoro Resources Limited and Egerton Limited for their Copper-Gold Mining Project happened today at Punta Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas. “Large-scale foreign mining results to environmental plunder by these foreign mining companies. They deceived the people of its promised basic developments of providing jobs and improvement of livelihood but loomed destruction of the environment, loss of livelihood, displacement of communities and caused health complications,” stressed by PJ Santos, coordinator of Kalikasan PNE-ST. The groups denounce the endorsement of the local government of Lobo in letting foreign mining companies continue their operations in spite of protests and resolutions filed by the people to stop mining in the province. They were also dismayed by the continuous silence of the provincial government in the issue of mining playing safe around the fingers of these foreign mining companies and the stand of the people against mining. “The permission of our government to let these foreign mining companies use our land and resources for mining is a direct violation of our constitution, a violation to our national sovereignty,” added by Enriquez.”

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Ida O. and commented:
    “Let’s leave our children a living planet.” ~ WWF

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