By Roger M. Balanza
South Cotabato Provincial Board also lifts ban on open-pit mining giving the SMI a go-signal to proceed with its stalled USD5.9-billion project
Senator Francis Tolentino said the Tampakan copper-gold project being pushed to resume by Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato will be beneficial to local residents.
DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna vowed they will ensure that SMI will comply with its rehabilitation obligations and environmental protection, assuring that the environment will not be sacrificed. READ MORE
By ROGER M. BALANZA
Twelve years after successfuly spearheading massive opposition to open-pit mining, the Catholic Church is back in action to denounce the lifting of a ban on open-mining by the South Cotabato Provincial Board.
Bishop Cerilo Casicas of the Catholic Diocese of Marbel called on South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo to veto an amendment to the 2010 South Cotabato Environment Code, that would now allow open-pit mining.
The South Cotabato Provincial Board on Monday, May 16, amended Section 22b of the Code which banned open-pit mining.
The approval of the South Cotabato Environment Code in 2010 led the multinational Sagittarius Mines, Incorporated (SMI) temporarily abandon its Tampakan gold-copper project.
The $5.9-billion project that would use open-pit mining in the largest untapped copper-gold deposit in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s biggest was projected to yield about 375,000 tons of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold.
Bishop Cirilo Casicas of the Diocese of Marbel in South Cotabato has slammed the developer of the controversial $5.9 billion (P297 billion at current rates) Tampakan project for claiming in a legislative hearing that the local religious sector has thrown its support to the largest undeveloped copper-gold minefield in Southeast Asia.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato held a special session in Koronadal City on Thursday, December 9, regarding the petitions to lift the open-pit mining ban imposed by the provincial government since 2010. It was aired live on Facebook. (Read More)