Who Benefits From Gold Mining? NOT LOBO, BATANGAS!

Originally authored on September 24, 2015

Throughout history, our non-renewable mineral resources have enriched a few at the expense of the entire nation and our natural heritage. Fully aware of the massive consequences of mining, multi-sectoral groups denounced the pre-development works of Egerton Gold Phils., Inc, which had already drilled 173 holes for the exploration wherein each approximately 1 kilometer deep to check for gold deposits. The group sought the suspension of further drilling and cancellation of mining agreements involving the project. Lured by the promise of job opportunites, the barangay captains consented, not realizing what open-pit mining entailed. Lobo is home to 40,000 people as well as to Mount Baloi, a watershed that provides potable water for the province of Batangas. The process of separating minerals from ore by the use of mercury and lead would eventually mix with the water would endanger the lives of BatangueƱos. The contamination will also poison and kill marine life in rivers and lakes in the same area.

Environmentally, geographically, and historically, all that Lobo now boasts of, are in grave danger. Not only will it affect water as a result of mud-like toxic mine tailings which would effect enormous damage on aquatic life in Verde Island Passage, the center of marine biodiversity; but also the forested mountains of Lobo will be blown off by explosions to extract the minerals. The extinction of wildlife inhabiting the forest soon follows. Moreover, the soil will no longer be fit for planting as it will be fed poisons and mine tailings.

 

No one can claim that mining can lead to economic progress and development. If anything, mining has left long-term and devastating effects on the environment, while the people’s condition did not improve.

The permission of our government to let these foreign mining companies use our land and resources for mining is a violation of our Constitution. A violation of our national sovereignty!

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

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