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To Mine or Not to Mine The Case of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project: Mindanao, Philippines


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To Mine or Not to Mine
The Case of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project: Mindanao, Philippines

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To Mine or Not to Mine The Case of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project: Mindanao, Philippines

  1. 1. To Mine or Not to MineThe Case of the Tampakan Copper-GoldProject: Mindanao, PhilippinesPresented to the Department of NationalDefense. Conference Room , 3rd Floor,DND Building. Camp Aguinaldo.Quezon City, PhilippinesMay 31, 2012 Climate Change Congress of the PhilippinesRoom 1 Bonifacio Hall, UP SOLAIR Esteban C. Godilano, Ph.D. Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines With contributions by Atty. Christian S. MonsodPhone no. (632) 408-4203/Email address: email.;
  2. 2. Presentation Outline1. Our mineral wealth2. What others are saying about Tampakan3. What has been done by SMI4. CCCP scientific analysis on Tampakan5. Moving forward
  3. 3. Our Mineral WealthThe mining industry is about $840 billion. Philippines goldresources can amount to 7.36 trillion pesos or about 76percent of the country GDP of 9.73 trillion pesos in 2011.(NSDB 2012).  This is equal to more than 65.1 times the income gap of 113.1 billion pesos, the amount needed a year to raise the poor above the threshold of poverty.The drawback: mining activities are usually located in ruraland mountainous areas and can affect farmlands, rivers andshorelines, where the poorest of the poor are located namely,the farmers, indigenous peoples and municipal fishermen.
  4. 4. THE QUESTION Should the Tampakan Copper-Gold project be allowed in the Philippines?• CCCP providing data and facts in geospatial format on the controversies that surround the Tampakan Copper- Gold project.• CCCP argue on the adaption of watershed as the planning domain in conducting impact studies on mining given the “new normal” brought about by climate change.impacts on food and water security, human rights and social justice,suggesting analytical tools in calculating the full cost of mining.
  5. 5. Impacts of Mining• Mining cannot be conducted without affecting the land, water, and air surrounding the site, as well as the various natural resources found in them.• Mining involves the extraction of minerals, but may also involve the use or destruction of non-mineral resources, such as freshwater, timber, and wildlife. resulting in health problems, displacement of people, social divisiveness, even the need to provide PNP and AFP protection to mining companies. disasters that can happen from the cutting of trees, from landslides, siltation and erosion, and accidents from mining structures.• All these translate into public costs which are borne mainly by the poor. This is the social justice issue of mining.
  6. 6. Who are the Owners of theTampakan project?Located on the southernPhilippine island of Mindanao,approximately 40 km. north ofGeneral Santos City. TheProject is situated on theboundaries of four provinces: The Tampakan Project is a 2.4South Cotabato, Sarangani, billion metric ton deposit, containingSultan Kudarat and Davao del 13.5 million metric tons of copperSur, and represents one of the and 15.8 million ounces of gold at a 0.3 % cut-off grade. The Project isworld’s largest undeveloped operated by Philippine-basedcopper-gold deposits in the affiliate Sagittarius Mines, Inc. a jointSouth East Asia - Western venture between Xstrata CopperPacific Region. and Indophil Resources.
  7. 7. What will happen?• SMI will clear 3,935 hectares of forest and arable lands when it starts mining operations,• It will build its mine tailing facilities near one of the tributaries of Mal River, the biggest river system in the Tampakan-Columbio area.  The mine life is expected to reach 70 years with more than US$ 5.4B in needed investments.  SMI has allegedly spent more than P10 billion already for the exploration and other activities of the company since 2000.
  8. 8. Who will be affected?• More than 1,000 families, majority of them belonging to the B’laan tribe, will be displaced and relocated once the company begins commercial operations.SMI promised to provide scholarships, livelihood programs and whatever it is that they need or would help in their development.The common perception of the Blaan community is that theywould not be affected by the operations. “As long as theirancestral lands would not be affected, they were willing tosupport the mining company as it provides incentives that thecommunities need.
  9. 9. Who will be affected?• Damage to critical watersheds would leave thousands of farmers and fishermen with no means to earn a living. The mine development would 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. The Tampakan project estimates a water requirement rate of 908 million liters per second. • The mining project proposes to store 1.65 billion tons of waste rock and 1.1 billion tons of tailings in areas of high seismic activity. The open pit will not be back filled and the billions of tons of acid generating waste rocks and wet tailings will require management in perpetuity.  “The Tampakan mine has a high potential for loss of life and high environmental damage if a failure of Dams or Rock Storage facilities occurs”. (Goodland and Wick 2010)
  10. 10. What will be its impacts?• If SMI is allowed to operate, it would destroy the environment and contaminate the river systems. It would dry up the irrigation system in the lowlands and the aquifers in General Santos and nearby Koronadal City (The Catholic Church in South Cotabato).  The mine areas are found atop the headwaters of all the big rivers that drain into five provinces namely South Cotabato, Sarangani, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao, and the cities of General Santos and Koronadal.  Any degradation in this region will potentially result in the increased siltation of the rivers, a decrease in the water level and a high risk of being contaminated by toxic materials coming from the mine operation upstream (Catherine Abon, Geologist, UP NIGS).
  11. 11. What will be its impacts?• Tampakan project will affect agricultural production and infrastructure projects as the watershed serving the Mal River will be threatened. The Mal River, supplies two major irrigation systems and 22 communal irrigation systems covering 13,968 has. and involving 7,421 farmers. SMI is planning to establish a tailing storage facility in Matanao straddling 1,018 has. that will serve as dumping site of mining wastes (Mindanews: 16 September 2010).• Tampakan mining project is estimated to produce 2.7 billion tons of mine Marinduque Mine Tailings Storage wastes. The mine wastes will be stacked up to 300 meters high and will cover about 500 has., thus the Tampakan Copper Gold Project is said to be “one of the most dangerous mining projects in the world”. (Clive Montgomery Wicks, conservation and development consultant).
  12. 12. Response from SMI• "We have completed our SMI Technical Studies Environmental Impact Assessment • Mine closure and (EIA) studies in accordance with rehabilitation relevant local and international • Water resources standards”. • Mine waste management• These robust, evidence-based • Terrestrial and aquatic studies involved both Filipino and ecology international experts and have • Noise and vibration • Social impact taken a number of years to assessment complete as part of our integrated • Visual amenity mine planning process. • Climate and• The EIA identified the proposed meteorology measures to mitigate and manage • Economic benefits the potential environmental and • Social benefits social risks,” (SMI 2010).
  13. 13. Response from SMIThe tailings generated from the mine processingactivities will be managed and stored in theTailing Storage Facility (TSF) which will cover animpounding area of approximately 1,000 has. A total of 1.35 B tons of material including approximately 250 M tons of high potential acid forming waste rocks will be stored in the TSF. SMI Environmental Awards
  14. 14. Response from SMI• SMI is claiming that they are welcomed by the communities in the mining site because of the economic and social benefits the project will bring.  SMI has sponsored thousands of scholars in all school levels, conducted medical missions, and employed tribesmen in their labor force.  “Our commitment to ethical behavior underpins all our actions and making this Project a reality requires us to work in partnership with our stakeholders in a responsible way” (
  15. 15. A picture is worth a thousand wordsWatershed mappingand impact studiesshould be based ona wholistic approachof “ridge-rivers-reef”. The miningarea straddles threemajor watershedsthat will be affectedby SMI miningoperations andcoveringapproximately (1) Catisan Allah Watershed : 742,858 has. (2) Marbel Watershed: 122,659 has.985,730 has. (3) Padada River Watershed: 120,213 has.
  16. 16. Impact areas in the watershed Direct ImpactDirect impact areawithin the watershedtotaled 271,175 has.These are low lyingareas that are prone tocontamination includingthe Liguasan Marsh.The Catisan AllahWatershed comprisesthe largest areacovering 162,623 has.or 60 percent of the A total of 696 km of rivers/stream length that could betotal impacted areas affected. Padada River watershed: 259 km. Marbel watershed: 95 km. Catisan Allah River watershed: 342 km.
  17. 17. Land Use Impact Within the mining claim area, 32 and 75 percent of the agriculture lands and forested areas will be affected. Original Impact Mining Land Uses Areas Claim (ha)1. Forest 20,064 15,0772. Agriculture 48,119 15,4923. Mangrove 217 04. Fishponds 1,884 05. Marshland and 84,858 0 swamps6. Lakes 9,417 0 5,707 6 . Non8. Agriculture Built-up 1,097 14 (Grass land)Total 171,363 30,589
  18. 18. Population Impacted MunicipalitiesProvince/City/Municipality (NSO 2010)Davao Sur 232,201 1) Hagonoy 48,166 Approximately 16 Municipalities, plus Cotabato 2) Matanao 50,928 City, are in direct influence of the Tampakan 3) Kiblawan 43,057 4) Padada 25,127 mines. As of NSO 2010 data, impacted 5) Sulop 29,082 population is approximately 1 million people. 6) Malalag 35,841South Cotabato 1) Tampakan 47,159 2) Columbio No Data 3) Lutayan No DataNorth Cotabato 163,231 1) Tulunan 49,865 2) Mlang 113,366Maguidanao 148,312 1) Buluan 32,310 2) Datu Paglas 29,979 3) Datu Pinag 49,971 4) Pagalungan 36,052Shariff Kabungsuan 1) Kabuntalan 23,143Cotabato City 301,264 Total 915,310
  19. 19. Climate Change Impact and Fault lines SMI technical studies on “climate and meteorology” did not include the impact of climate change in the analysis as this is not included in the EIA guidelines. Original Impact Mining CC Impact Watershed Areas Claim In the case of flooding caused by climate1. Landslide 161,542 39,207 12,515 change and a breach of the controlled structure2. Soil Erosion 159,961 16,156 3,912 in the mine area for affluent, the total flooded3. Drought 68,206 37,234 0 area of 491,642 has. will be contaminated by4. Flooding 491,642 185,330 1315. Not Affected 1.35 Bt of toxic material including 250 Mt of high 158,822 27,411 14,031 Total 1,040,173 305,338 30,589 potential acid forming waste rocks.
  20. 20. DENR does not support mining over 1,000 meters, yet the Tampakan miningclaim area covers approximately 11,517 hectares of lands (38%) 1,000 metersabove sea level (masl). Worse, underneath the mining area are series of faultlines numbering 14 with a total length of 83 km.
  21. 21. Why watershed planning approach? “Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources. Application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources”. (Chapter 18 of the Agenda 21) We all live in a watershed and we believe that a watershed planning approach is the most effective framework to address the complex issues of the mining industry and above all food and water security in the context of looming climate change impacts.With Climate Change as the “new normal” a watershed approach to adaptation,mitigation, anticipation and disaster management where the forests and mineralsare mostly located. A concerted and integrated effort using the watershed as theplanning domain is necessary. Landslide and flooding do not respectadministrative boundaries or local jurisdictions.
  22. 22. Should mining be allowed in the Philippines?Mining should only be allowed whenfour minimum conditions are met:•the environmental, social andeconomic costs are accounted for inevaluating mining projects;•the country gets a full and fair shareof the value of the extractedresources, (3) the institutional capabilities of the government to evaluate and regulate mining activities are put in place; and (4) since mining uses up non-renewable natural capital, the money from mining are specifically used to create new capital such as more developed human resources and infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas.
  23. 23. TEV and WAVESEcosystems are especially importantfor developing countries, where the Tributaries in the Tampakan Watershedlivelihoods of many people dependdirectly on healthy ecosystems. Adopt Total Economic Valuation (TEV) and Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) which is an integration of TEV and natural capital accounting. WAVES is an initiative of the World Bank which is supportive of “responsible mining”. WAVES is a comprehensive wealth management approach to long-term sustainable development that includes all assets – manufactured capital, natural capital, human and social capital. The methodological framework is the UN’s System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) developed over the past 20 years.
  24. 24. How will WAVES contribute to poverty reduction?• Valuation of ecosystem services will enable better management of ecosystems.  Natural resources are an important asset for the poor  Improving the productivity of natural assets can lead to poverty reduction by allowing the poor to accumulate assets of their own if economic activities based on natural resources are not “employment of the last resort”.• Ecosystem accounting will also enable the measurement of who benefits and who bears the costs of ecosystem changes. Essential for careful policy design so that the poor (who lack complementary private assets) also benefit from improved productivity.
  25. 25. Impacts on Human RightsThe Right to Life andSecurity•Everyone has the right tolife, liberty and security ofperson. (Universal Declaration of HumanRights [UDHR]: Article 3)The Right to Food•The State Parties to thepresent Covenant, recognisethe fundamental right ofeveryone to be free fromhunger. (International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights SMI Seminar on[ICESCR], Article 11) Human Rights
  26. 26. Impacts on Human RightsThe Right to Subsistence•Everyone has the right to a standardof living adequate for the health andwell-being of himself and of his family,including food, clothing, housing…(UDHR, Article 25) .‘In no case may a people be deprived of its ownmeans of subsistence.’ (International Covenant on Civiland Political Rights [ICCPR], Article 1.2 and ICESCR, Article1.2) The Right to Health •The State Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ (ICESCR, Article 12)
  27. 27. Impacts and Footprints Sharing the Pie, Dividing Responsibilities Agricultural SectorLAND USE 72 % is under fisheries - 96,376 ha without CC - 491,642 with CC
  28. 28. Impacts and Footprints Sharing the Pie, Dividing ResponsibilitiesLAND USE POPULATION
  29. 29. In Cases of Doubt• Until the new policies and institutional safeguards are fully in place, the government should strictly apply the precautionary principle. The principle is public policy under RA 9729 (Climate Change Act of 2009), and was enunciated by the Supreme Court in issuing the Writ of Kalikasan.  Part V. Rule 20, “Sec. 1: When there is a lack of full scientific certainty in establishing a causal link between human activity and environmental effect, the court shall apply the precautionary principle in resolving the case before it. The constitutional right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology shall be given the benefit of the doubt.” The Writ of Kalikasan means a legal remedy available to any natural or juridical person, entity authorized by law, people’s organization, non-government organization, or any public interest group accredited by or registered with any government agency, on behalf of persons whose constitutional right to a balance and healthful ecology is violated, or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or private individual or entity, involving environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the life, health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities or provinces. (Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC Rule 7, Sec. 1).
  30. 30. CONCLUSION Doing nothing and a Marinduque Mine Tailings at Boac River business as usual approach (the river is dead until now) to mining coupled with the uncertainty of climate change will be an indictment of our generation that our children will never forgive.“Without social change, climatechange will just worsen thesituation especially for thevulnerable and themarginalized”. Archbishop of Cagayan de OroMost Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, J.J., D.D., CCCP LeadConvener
  31. 31. RECOMMENDATIONS1. Science-based vulnerability mapping to include the New Normal (climate change) in the Marinduque Mine Tailings at Boac River analysis.2. DENR with CCCP to revisit the EIA and EIS guidelines to include WS analysis and reporting systems not only in mining but all projects that requires ECC.3. DENR, NEDA and CCCP should provide the protocol and guidelines for TEV and WAVES analysis in the mining industry.4. Inclusion of Agriculture and Fisheries in the mining industry study and analysis.5. Food and water security should never be compromised, our survival as a nation is at stake. Thank