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Saturday, May 26, 2012

WHO'S BEHIND THE BLACK SAND MINING IN ILOCOS REGION? "Moving Heaven and Earth in search of huge profit"

Anakpawis Partylist had filed House Resolution 2203 urging Congress to investigate the impact of black sand (magnetite) mining in Northern Philippines to the environment and livelihood of the people living in the coastal areas where the mining operations are taking place.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael “Ka Paeng” V. Mariano in a statement said the resolution is a response to the call of fisherfolk group, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) to stop the black sand mining operations in Ilocos Region due to its ill-effect on the ecosystem of the waters and shores of the towns of Ilocos Norte and Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan provinces, not to mention the possible eviction of residents along the coastline and loss of livelihood among small fisherfolks there.
According to Mariano, black sand mining would cause much flooding due to the massive reclamation of lands in the coastal areas. The lawmaker said prior to magnetite mining, in La Union coastal shores are usually 1 kilometer away from coastal communities, but because of intense black sand mining, seawaters now goes directly to fishing communities and farmlands during typhoon forcing fishermen and farmers to leave their communities.

A 2005 data of National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed that the number of residents of Brgy. Pilar in Bauang La Union had been reduced from 812 to 400, or more than 50 percent of its total population because of the massive flooding, allegedly due to black sand mining in the shores of La Union.
To date, there are about 15 magnetite mining permit applications filed before the Mines & Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in La Union, covering the areas of San Juan (2, offshore), Bacnotan (2 offshore), Balaoan (2 offshore), Luna (1 offshore), Bangar (2, 1 offshore, 1 onshore), Pugo (1 onshore), Burgos (1 onshore), Santol (1 onshore) and Sudipen (3 onshore).
In Ilocos Sur, 57 black mining applications are still pending before the MGB while in Ilocos Norte, there are 86.

Based on the Government’s projections, the black sand mining operations in the Ilocos region would generate an aggregate income of US$71 billion for the national government.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya revealed that 80 percent of the black sand mining operations in the area are controlled by the Canadian company, Colossal Mining.
Pamalakaya national chair Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said the exploration and mining permits given to Colossal Mining will allow them to explore at least 15,700 hectares of offshore areas in North Western Luzon.

“Next to Colossal Mining company is the mining firm Grand Total Exploration and Mining Corporation that will explore at least 33,00 hectares in the offshore and onshore areas of Tagudin, Sta.Cruz, Sta Lucia, Candon City, Santiago, Narvacan, Santa, Caoayan, Sta. Catalina, San Vicente, Vigan, Sto.Domingo, Magsingal, San Juan and Cabugao in Ilocos Sur. This is another grand colossal case of plunder and destruction,” Hicap said.
He also added that the Grand Total firm, the company headed by Randy Singson will conduct magnetite mining explorations on 21, 753 hectares of offshore waters in the towns of Bauang, Caba, Aringay, Agoo and Sto. Tomas in La Union. Singson is the son of Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson. 

“These magnetite giants are, literally and figuratively, moving heaven and earth in search for huge profits at the expense of human lives, the livelihood and the environment. They are removing Lingayen Gulf from the surface of this earth courtesy of large-scale black sand mining,” Hicap said. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]
Save Ilocos! Stop black sand/magnetite mining in Ilocos Region and Cagayan. Sign the petition now. Join CUADERNO ILOCANO KDPY.

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