Glencore exit from Tampakan project a victory for the people

Source: 
Kalikasan PNE press release
Date of publication: 
27 June, 2015

Anglo-Swiss mining firm sells it shares in South Cotabato mining project

Environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) hailed as a victory for the people’s movement the divestment of Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore from the $5.9 billion Tampakan mining project in South Cotabato, SOCSKSARGEN region.

“Glencore, potentially the largest mining project in the country to date, ultimately failed in the face of massive people’s resistance against foreign and large-scale mining. Glencore-SMI has been eager to plunder the estimated 2.4 billion metric tons of copper-gold deposits in Mindanao since 1992, but has been stopped time and again even as it is currently supported by the Aquino administration,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Glencore has been land grabbing 24,000 hectares of ancestral lands, forests, and agricultural lands of indigenous people and peasants, and has displaced at least 5,000 individuals and caused another 40,000 people—mostly farmers—to lose their livelihoods.

In addition to repugnant environmental destruction and social dislocation, at least 10 extrajudicial killings of indigenous people, children, and environmental activists has been incurred against opponents of the mining project since 2001. Glencore was also the mastermind behind the vilification and illegal detention by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of anti-mining activist Romeo Rivera Jr. in 2014, and has been employing military and paramilitary forces to militarize the mine-affected communities.

“Faced with strong and relentless resistance from the B’laan indigenous people, pleasants, church people, rights advocates and environmentalists, the gargantuan Glencore-SMI fell and ultimately raised the white flag. We believe that this is the first case in which Glencore failed to advance its commercial mining operations in a foreign country. Glencore has serious negative environmental and rights track records in different countries such as Colombia, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, raking in billion-dollar profits from the extraction and trading of other people’s resources and products across the globe,” said Bautista.

In a June 24 statement, Glencore sold its holdings in the 10,000-hectare Tampakan project to Australian miner Indophil Resources-NL, which holds 37.5% of the 40% controlling stake in Sagitarrius Mines Inc (SMI), which runs the project.

“The people have been holding and will continue to hold various actions in the struggle against foreign mining projects. From the LGUs maintaining their ban on open-pit mining, to environmentalists’ street protests, down to indigenous people’s armed defense and punitive actions from the New People’s Army, the people will continue to protect our homes and livelihood,” asserted Bautista.

“If there shall be a new owner of the Tampakan mining, they will face the same stiff resistance from the Filipino people. We will never stop defending our lands, rights and natural resources. Indophil, SMI, and other large-scale foreign mining giants should completely abandon the Tampakan mining project and leave Mindanao, lest they face the united and principled action of the Filipino people,” ended Bautista.#

Reference: Clemente Bautista – 0922 844 9787

Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: +63 (2) 924 8756 | E-mail: secretariat [at] kalikasan [dot] net | Site:
www.kalikasan.net

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‘People’s victory – Environmentalists hail exit of mining giant in Tampakan

http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/06/28/peoples-victory-environmentalists-ha...

By DEE AYROSO, Bulatlat.com – http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/06/28/peoples-victory-environmentalists-ha...

28 June 2015

The environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) hailed the exit of the Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore from the $5.9 billion Tampakan copper-gold project in Mindanao, calling it “a victory for the people.”

“Glencore, potentially the largest mining project in the country to date, ultimately failed in the face of massive people’s resistance against foreign and large-scale mining,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The project covers 10,000 hectares in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur, which has an estimated 2.4 billion metric ton deposit, containing 13.5 million metric tons of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold.

In a June 24 statement, Glencore said it had signed a share sale agreement with an affiliate of the Australian company, Indophil Resources-NL, for the sale of its remaining interest in the Tampakan project. In January this year, Glencore had divested part of its share to Alsons Prime Investments Corporation.

Sagitarrius Mines Inc (SMI), which is the government’s contractor for the project, was controlled 40 percent by a joint venture of Glencore-Xstrata Copper and Indophil, of which Glencore has 62.5 percent, and Indophil holds 37.5 percent. The 60 percent non-controlling equity is held by the Tampakan Group of Companies.

The company’s exit comes even before it started its production, targeted in 2016. In 2001, Glencore assumed the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) over the project from Western Mining Company (WMC). Its exploration had met fierce resistance from the surrounding B’laan communities, peasants, environment, church and human rights groups.

“Glencore-SMI has been eager to plunder the estimated 2.4 billion metric tons of copper-gold deposits in Mindanao since 1992, but has been stopped time and again even as it is currently supported by the Aquino administration,” Bautista said.

Bautista said the Glencore had been landgrabbing 24,000 hectares of ancestral lands, forest and farms, and had caused the displacement of at least 5,000 people, and loss of livelihood to some 40,000 others.

At least 10 people had been killed by suspected state forces and paramilitary groups, in an effort to suppress opposition, Bautista said.

“Glencore was also the mastermind behind the vilification and illegal detention by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of anti-mining activist Romeo Rivera Jr. in 2014,” Bautista said.

Bautista said the new mining company in Tampakan “will face the same stiff resistance from the Filipino people.”

“We will never stop defending our lands, rights and natural resources. Indophil, SMI, and other large-scale foreign mining giants should completely abandon the Tampakan mining project and leave Mindanao,” he said. (http://bulatlat.com)