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Caraga Mining Situation Under the Noynoy Aquino Presidency 2011 October (Draft)
Caraga Region, under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government, became the mining capital of Asia. Hectares of forest land and mountains– ancestral lands of the Lumad people – were offered to foreign mining companies. What followed was a deluge of mining operations. Within a couple of years landslides and flash floods struck the region which affected lives and the very livelihood of the people of Caraga. Oplan Bantay Laya 2 was unleashed to quell the people’s growing opposition to the anti-people policies and programs of the Arroyo government. Areas with and targeted for mining operations especially those with movements that opposed mining, were highly militarized. This resulted to several instances of evacuations of whole communities and caused economic dislocation to the Lumad and peasant communities targeted. Promising to be the antithesis of his predecessor, Noynoy Aquino spews respect for human rights, promises an end to poverty and called the Filipino people his “Boss” whom his government would serve by following the “daang matuwid.” His administration however, has been proven no different from that of Mrs. Arroyo, essentially merely continuing her government’s thrusts and programs. Under his governance Caraga region remains inundated with foreign and local mining companies and plantations that dislocate thousands and are threatening further destruction to the region and its people. THE CARAGA REGION The Caraga Region is made up of five (5) provinces, six (6) cities, seventy-one (68) municipalities and 1,306 barangays. It is situated in the northeast section of Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by the Bohol Sea; on the south by Region XI’s provinces of Davao, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental; on the west by Region X’s Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental; and on the east by the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It has a total land area of
Jabonga and Kitcharao in Agusan Del Norte. Filipinas Palm Plantation Incorporated (PTFI) in Agusan del Sur is one of the biggest oil palm plantations in the region.10%) deposit in the country.3% of the country’s total land area and 18. 71.5% 0f Mindanao’s.2% of the total land area of the region is forested with its dipterocarp coverage the third most extensive in the country. Caraga region has the 4th largest copper deposit. representing 6. The nickel deposits at Nonoc. It is rich in marine resources and is the main source of fish in the region and in Northern Mindanao. bananas. Santiago. Tubod. It is home to the famous Agusan Marsh which sits in the middle of Agusan Del Sur.600 hectares cultivated with rice. It has been host to large logging companies during the 80’s until the 90’s including PICOP resources incorporated (PRI) and SUDECOR of the Puyat family which continues to operate.73%) and gold (11.1. Vast nickel laterites are found in of Surigao and was first exploited in 1975. It also has the world’s biggest iron ore deposit within the mountains of the two Surigao provinces. It is largely composed of mountainous areas and flat and rolling lands. Mainit and Sison In Surigao Del Norte and Tubay. It has the largest nickel (9. coconut. coffee and pineapple. The most productive agriculture area is located along the Agusan River Basin. covering eight municipalities: Alegria. Crops for export include palm oil covering 100 square kilometres in Agusan del sur. Minerals According to the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB-DENR). The Diwata mountain ranges divide the Agusan and Surigao provinces and subranges separate most of the lowlands along the pacific coast. Among the lakes in the region.697 hectares. 3rd gold. Surigao Norte and Agusan del Norte are the principal gold‐ producing provinces in what is called the Barobo Gold Corridor and the Surigao Gold District. Surigao Sur. corn.884. abaca. Rich In Natural Resources Agriculture remains the main source of income of the people of Caraga with 452. Lake Mainit is the widest. Surigao del Norte were mined from 1975 to 1982. Deposits of metallurgical grade chromite are found in Dinagat Island. 5th nickel and 6th chromite deposits in the world. rubber. Negotiations are ongoing for the Nonoc mine and . mango and root crops for local consumption. Secondary source of income is fishing with the two Surigao provinces and Dinagat Island facing the Pacific Ocean.
San Miguel. The biggest bulk of coal reserve is said to be found in Bislig and the Andap Valley Complex which covers the municipalities of Tandag. The nickel deposit in Nonoc. Industrial non-metallic minerals marble. the country’s major lignite reserve. aggregates. Marihatag. Prior to the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942). . Extensive deposits of Aluminum bauxite occur in Bucas Grande Island. among others are also in abundance. there were already twelve large mining companies operating in Surigao del Norte alone. Coal.Tago. HEIGHTENED EXPLOITATION UNDER AQUINO The Aquino government has continued to pursue mining as an economic policy. but never has resource extraction been as extensive or as destructive as the present. can be found in three of its provinces: Agusan del Sur. Surigao del Norte was mined from 1975 to 1982.refinery to be re-opened. Cagwait. limestone for cement and feldspar. Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Surigao del Norte nickel was first exploited in 1975. At present 10 of the 22 Operating Expansion Projects are in the Caraga Region. EXPLOITING THE NATURAL RESOURCES The region’s mining resources have been extracted in various scales since the pre‐Hispanic period. San Agustin and Lianga in Surigao del Sur.
543. A $ 1.000 hectares.17 hectares. 36 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) Applications covering 91.670 hectares.Nonoc Nickel Projects is under Feasibility/ Financing Stage covering 25.22 hectares.The $2.429.5 billion investment to rehabilitate the Nonoc Mining Project has allegedly been committed by Chinese company Jinchuan during Aqunio’s recent trip to China .107B Surigao Sumitomo HPAL Project is currently under construction and is set for operation in 2013. Eight (8) of the 11 nickel mines in the country are in the two Surigao provinces. As of June 2011 there are 54 existing Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) in the region covering 125. .367 hectares and 128 Exploration Permits Applications (EP) covering an additional 534. 16 Existing Exploration Permits (EP) covering 31.
Red 5 Limited Has 90% beneficial interest in the Siana Gold Project. in Surigao del Norte. MMPRC is involved in small scale mining and organizing mining cooperatives. The project covers an area of approximately 33 square kilometers focused around the Siana Gold Mine in the established gold mining region of Surigao del Norte. Surigao del Sur. (PGMC). Surigao del Sur. It has a purchasing agreement with Platinum Group Metals Corp. which operates two nickel mines in Surigao Norte and Isabela.100 hectares in Agusan del Sur. Mindoro Resources Ltd. Medusa Mining Limited Owns the Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corporation (MMPRC) which is in charge of the Bananghilig and Co‐O mines in the Barobo Gold Corridor in Barobo. seven in the Surigao and Agusan Norte areas. It has Joint Venture Agreements (JVA) with MRL Philippines to mine areas in the Surigao Agusan del Norte areas and Bunawan Mining Corporation in Agusan del Sur along with a memorandum of agreement with Abacus Consolidated Resources and Holdings Inc. for the Bayugo Gold‐ Copper Project ‐ the Kalayaan Project. . which made a joint venture agreement with Asiaticus Management Corporation (Amcor) over the Pujada mining project in Davao Oriental. Its subsidiary. Philsaga Mining Corporation (Philsaga) operates the Tambis Project.Foreign Mining Companies In Caraga Anglo American Has a joint venture with local firm Philex Mining Corp. Is a Canadian company that organizes small‐scale mining cooperatives. in the Boyongan Copper Project at the boundaries of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte. Has 12 pending applications for exploration permits. with an MPSA covering 6. BHP Billiton Is one of the biggest buyers of nickel in the Philippines. It has over 1. It collaborated with QNI Philippines in 2002.262 hectares of land in Barobo. It also operates the Das-agan Project in the Lingig Copper Discovery.700 shareholders including AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited with 10% share. Has joint venture project with Manila Mining Corp. comprising the Bananghilig and Kamarangan prospects with Philex Gold Philippines Inc. for exploration of 8.
to establish a blast furnace facility in the Philippines with the purpose of producing nickel pig iron. Oriental Energy and Power Corp. Surigao del Sur: Exploration municipalities of Tandag. (M. 7. Century Hua Guang Smelting Inc. Just last June 19 and 23. a privately‐owned Chinese corporation and one of the largest nickel pig iron producers in China. AbaCoal disclosed its move to the production and development phase for Coal Operating Contract No. 2011. Agusan del Norte Exploration permit for its Pakuan Property of over 10. Surigao Sur. 2006 and Production 2009. 6. manages the Agata and Tapian San Francisco Mining Projects which covers 7 areas for copper. Marihatag and Lianga in Mining and Energy Corporation).000 hectares of land has been contracted for coal mining as of September 2009. Dinagat Islands and Century Hua Guang Smelting Inc. the nickel mining company operating in Loreto.000 hectares in Cabadbaran and Tubay. Surigao del Sur. The Agata and Tapian San Francisco Projects are situated in the Surigao Gold District in Surigao del Norte.000 hectares within the mountains of Tago and Marihatag.000 hectares at Pakuan. 148 covering 7 coal blocks or 7. Surigao del Sur: Exploration Surigao del Sur has been 4. Surigao Surigao del Sur. Gigaguit and Kitcharao in Surigao del Norte and Bunawan. Bislig. Is British‐owned and has exploration permits for copper and gold in close to 2. Trento.. . San Agustin. Offered in its PECR 2006 and 2009 are coal blocks in Bislig. Marihatag & San Energy Contracting Round Miguel. Around 70. is a joint venture of CPMHC with the owners of Zhejiang Hua Guang. 2009 The Department of Energy 1. Lodestar Consolidated Holdings. Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC): Tago: Exploration (DOE) launched its Philippine 2. Cantilan. Tago. from Abacus Consolidated Resources & Holdings The Complex covers the Inc. (CPC). Sibagat in Agusan del Sur. nickel and gold mining. Inc. The mining areas of Red 5 Limited and Mindoro Resources Ltd. (Bought included on offer since 2005. Its Philippine subsidiary is MRL Gold Philippines Inc. (*former COC Andap Valley Complex in of CAREMINER): San Miguel. surrounds Lake Mainit.G. Cagwait. the Philippine’s 4th largest lake. Semco Exploration And Mining Co. Surigao del Sur: Development and (PECR) in 2005. Coal blocks in the 3. Benguet Corporation: Lianga. Century Peak Metals Holdings Corporation Owns Century Peak Corp. Bislig Ventures and Development Corp.: Tandag. 5. Great Wall Mining & Power Corp. Tandag. Coal mining has started in the DOE 6 Coal Operating Contracts (COC) as of region. ASK Mining and Exploration Corp.
Just like his predecessor Arroyo. It has deployed . destruction of habitats and decrease in biodiversity that promises long-term impact on the human and ecological environment Increasing Militarization. 2011). siltation of the coastline and degradation of nearby fishing grounds. Caraga is perennially threatened with landslides and flashfloods during the rainy season.6 million (GMA News Online January 6.078 families. water and soil. Roads were impassable which halted the region’s economy to a stop for more than 2 days. Damages to agriculture amounted to P 13 million while damage to infrastructure reached P72. . caused a halt to the economic activities because of impassable roads and destruction of businesses. Landslides and flashfloods has resulted to the decrease in rice and corn production in the region. Tax holidays and other incentives covering years of operation awarded by the Philippine government to foreign mining companies hugely decrease the government’s collections from the industry. According to AbaCoal’s work program it “intends to start producing coal in January 2012”. poisoning of the air. The increasing contamination of potable water sources.Surigao del Sur. Caraga Region remains on the list of the poorest regions in the country with 3 of its provinces perennially included among the poorest provinces. The mining industry also has little room for massive employment with most workers in the mining industry employed by contractual basis. WHAT DEVELOPMENT? It has always been said by the government and the mining companies that investments in the mining industry will bring in development and alleviate poverty. Aquino has unleashed yet another military campaign similar but has indications of surpassing Oplan Bantay Laya. The destruction of the environment brought about by mining deprives the peasants of their land. Increasing Human Rights Violations Human rights situation in Caraga worsened under the Aquino. Its Coal Operating Contract with the DOE is for 10 years effective January 2010 and renewable for another 10 years for the next contract and every three years after. the small fisher folks of their livelihood and has displaced thousands from their homes and farmlands. CASUALTIES OF MINING Large-scale Environmental Degradation 26 were reported dead by the NDRRMC during the January 2011 flash floods which affected 76. But even with the increase in mining investments.
There are 6 battalions deployed and scattered all over the Caraga region: 36th. Logging and mining companies have their own security forces (Special Citizen Auxiliary Army-SCAA). Bislig ang Lingig. The 26th IB PA are deployed in San Luis. the largest number of SCAAs are of the PRI scattered in the municipalities of Tagbina. quell the peoples struggle against such destructive operations. 58th. The 30th IB PA concentrates on Surigao and Agusan del Norte. Prosperidad. CVO. The 29th and 23rd IBPA are deployed in the CAFGU detachments in Agusan del Sur. the 36th IBPA in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. rights and ensuring the smooth exploitation of Philippine resources by foreign companies. 23rd . Rosario.Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) teams to lumad and peasant communities targeted for mining under the guise of counterinsurgency campaigns. Bantay Bayan. Lianga. SCAAs of the FPPI are in Bunawan. There are two infantry brigades in the region. land. Hinatuan. Carmen. Bantay Purok. the 401st Infantry Brigade main headquarters is located in St.Christine. and Trento in Agusan del Sur while the Puyat SCAAs are in Lanuza. deploying hundreds of these “to investment intensive areas” to secure mining and other foreign interests. the 58th IBPA in the first district of Surigao del Sur. BIN. La Paz and Talacogon in Agusan del Sur. He has ordered the strengthening of Arroyo’s “investment security forces”. 26th. village patrols in every barangay in what is called the Barangay Defense System (BDS). 29th and 30th IBPA. Agusan del Sur. There is also an increase in the number of paramilitary forces like the CAFGU. . Madrid and Cantilan in Surigao del Sur. Surigao del Sur and the 402nd Infantry Brigade in New Leyte.
Bangayan. Kitcharao. May 20. Agusan del Norte.The implementation of Oplan Bayanihan in January of this year and the subsequent constant military operations in mountain communities has resulted to evacuations of communities in the region. Brgy. . 2011: Evacuation of 90 Mamanwa and peasant settler families/405 individuals from Sitio Zapanta.
San Agustin. People’s organizations in these mountain communities are vocal in their opposition to mining. Surigao del Norte. June 26. 2011: Evacuation of 141 families/550 individuals from Brgy. Mahaba in Marihatag is the doorway to the Andap Valley Complex – targeted for coal mining while Janipaan and Magkahunao of Brgy. The NEDA’s Mindanao Strategic Development Framework Mindanao intends to exploit Mindanao mineral deposits which are valued at $312 billion or about 40% of the country’s mineral reserves of $840. DENR-MGB: Complete list of EP as of June 2011 . San Agustin. Sorrounding Kitcharao are the municipalities in Agusan and Surigao del Norte with and targeted for nickel and gold mining along with the Sumitomo HPAL plant in Claver. The next five years under President Aquino will bring in further exploitation of Philippine resources especially in Mindanao and particularly in the Davao and Caraga regions. Kitcharao. It intends to increase Caraga’s mineral output which currently contributes the most to the country’s mineral output at 8% (DENR-MGB 2008). Bangayan. Buhisan. May 5. His trips abroad are nothing but the peddling of Philippine lands and cheap labor mainly to mining companies. It has taken steps to induce mining investments by easing mining application processing. DENR-MGB: Complete list of FTAA as of June 2011 4. Agusan del Norte were again dislocated due to the ongoing military operations of the 402nd ID and 30th IB PA on the same communities. Buhisan. Surigao del Sur Brgy. 2011: Evacuation of 77 families from Magkahunao and Upper Janipaan in Brgy.September 1. # Resources: MINDANAO 1. Marihatag. Buhisan. NEDA-Strategic Development Framework 2010-2020 2. Surigao del Sur. Noynoy Aquino in his recent trip to China. Surigao del Sur and the evacuation of 22 families from Brgy. Mahaba. They came back with 4 nickel mining agreements with Chinese companies that is said to bring in $ 14 billion in investments for the next five years but would consequently bring destruction to the region’s environment. 15 officials of mining companies accompanied Pres. San Agustin are adjacent communities. DENR-MGB: Complete list of MPSA as of June 2011 3. 2011: 106 residents of Ansili and Zapanta Valley of Brgy.
June 2011 . 6. 2009 Kasalo: The Truth Behind the Military Operations in Surigao del Sur: Clearing the Way for Coal Mining. DENR-MGB: Tenement Control Map of Region XIII 2011 PNOC Coal areas on Offer Caraga Watch: Mining Caraga. 8. 7.5.
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