Glencore Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in South Cotabato, Philippines

Militarization and killings as key ingredients of one of the largest mining areas in South East Asia for copper and gold; seek for justice still ongoing


Description

The Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the Philippines, owned by Glencore Xstrata, the Australian Indophil, and the local subsidiary Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI), is one of the largest copper-gold mines in Southeast Asia. It covers a mine area of around 10,000 hectares in in the municipalities of Malungon (Sarangani), Columbio (Sultan Kudarat), Tampakan (South Cotabato) and Kiblawan (Davao del Sur), as well as four provinces in the Davao Region and the Regions XI and XII. The project directly impacts watersheds, around 3,000 hectares of forest, and ancestral domains that are sacred for local populations. An estimate of 5,000 people, mostly indigenous peoples, will have to be re-settled as a consequence of the mining, and many more are likely to be affected. The operations will also endanger food and water sources, impacting living conditions and possibly leading to social unrest. The risks of pollution, erosion, siltation, flash floods, landslides, and other seismic geo-hazards are also very high. For these reasons the Bla’an people and other indigenous tribes have been protesting against the mining project. In response to the strong opposition of local populations, however, military forces and paramilitary groups have been deployed in the area and are acting in defence of the investment. This militarization resulted in the killing of anti-mining and indigenous peoples leaders, and other countless violations of human rights. Juvy Capion and her sons Jordan, 13, and John Mark, 6, were killed in 2012 in an operation mounted by the military in Sitio Alyong, Barangay Kimlawis in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur against her husband, Daguel Capion. History of the conflict During the mandate of the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a governmental order was issued, which allowed police, military and paramilitary forces to be employed to defend investments projects that could be threatened by insurgents. This order was the basis for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SMI and the local governments that created the Special Forces KITACO, in 2008. This MoU legalized the entry of military and paramilitary forces into ancestral Bla’an territory. The repeated entrances of security forces were accompanied by several violations of human rights and the murder of tribal leaders that opposed the investment project. The KITACO forces are composed by private intelligence groups, as well as by personnel of the police and army of the Government of the Philippines. Several local executives and other members of the National Police of the Philippines confirmed that SMI financed their operations in the area affected by the project, unsurprisingly rebranded as KITACO growth Area. The salaries of the private intelligence forces, as well as many of the police forces composing the KITACO Special Forces, for instance, come from the vaults of SMI/Glencore-Xstrata. This militarization of the area not only obstructed the legitimate contestation to the project, but also hampered any possibility of implementing pertinent local regulation prohibiting open-air mining. In 2012 the Department for Internal Affairs and the Justice Department issued an order to the local government of the affected area to revoke this same legislation. This is arguably a violation of the Constitution and the Local Government Code, which since 1991 have delegated power of self-government to the local authorities. This also adds to the incapacity of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples to defend the rights of the Bla’an people, who declared its strong resistance to the Tampakan project. The Commission indeed failed to voice this opposition, and to take any action even after the murders and violence that the Bla’an people suffered.

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Basic Data
NameGlencore Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in South Cotabato, Philippines
CountryPhilippines
ProvinceSouth Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur
SiteMunicipality of Tampakan, South Cotabato Municipality of Malungon, Sarangani Municipality of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Municipality of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesCopper
Gold
Other aggregate metals in the copper and gold ores.
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe proposed mine structure will significantly affect the whole ecosystem of the four provinces especially the supply of water. The Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) shall cut-off the 14-km range including the head water of the Mal-Padada river system. The Fresh Water Dam (FWD) will contain at least 215-million liters of water, cutting the source of the Mal-Padada river system and will directly affect the supply of water to the Manteo-Buayan river system. The Waste Rock Storage Facility (WRSF) that will raise approximately 300 to 400 meters high will be silting the Dalul-Alip river system and will cover the rice fields of Colombio municipality of the hundreds of thousands of silted soil from the Tampakan Mines.

In 2010 it was estimated that the project would deliver 2.9 billion tonnes at 0.51% copper and 0.2g/t gold (at a 0.2% copper cut-off). Based on these ore reserves, the company targets to complete the mining of 15-million tonnes of copper and 17.6-million ounces of gold; an estimate of 375,000 tonnes of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold per annum, over a 17-year period. The Tampakan deposit represents the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposit in the South East Asia - Western Pacific Region after Grassberg.
Project Area (in hectares)10,000
Level of Investment (in USD)5,200,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population5,000 directly-impacted people will be displaced; 150,000 farmers whose livelihoods will be at stake; and downstream communities whose water sources will be affected.
Start Date1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesGlencore International AG from Switzerland
Glencore-Xstrata from Switzerland
Alsons Group of Companies
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau,

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples,

Department of Agriculture,

Armed Forces of the Philippines—Philippine Army
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTampakan Forum, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Popular Peoples Tribunal, Catholic Church (local bishop), Armed rebel groups, Tribal groups (Blaan), Social Action Center of Marbel < http://marbeldiocese.freeservers.com/index.html>, Alyansa Tigil Mina < http://www.alyansatigilmina.net/>, Philippine Misereor Partnerships Inc < http://pmpi.org.ph/>, Legal Rights Center , Philippine Association for Intercultural Development http://www.pafid.org.ph/, London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines, Lilak-Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights , Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates < http://www.philippinehumanrights.org/>
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Bla’an community
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Referendum other local consultations
Blockades
Land occupation
Boycotts of companies-products
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Presentation to the case to the Permanent Peoples Tribunal
Threats to use arms
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Migration/displacement
Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Fostering a culture of peace
Development of AlternativesAlyansa Tigil Mina and supporting groups proposes that the company pull out from Tampakan. The government should support the revitalization of agriculture industry in the province.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Not yet. It is successful only when the mining activities fully stop and when the mining project is closed.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, RA 8371
[click to view]

Mining Act of 1995, RA 7942
[click to view]

References

Mining vs Food: Tampakan Case Study
[click to view]

Mining in Tampakan: Intensifying Conflict, Danger in Perpetuity
[click to view]

Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project
[click to view]

Tampakan Fact Finding Mission Report, April 2012

Links

Blaan leaders to NCIP “No to Tampakan mining, we want non-FPIC Coverage”
[click to view]

Mining in Tampakan: Risks and Alternatives
[click to view]

Tampakan: how to lose money and terrify people
[click to view]

Bishops appeal to stop Tampakan mining project
[click to view]

Tampakan Forum PR: Groups blame mining companies for killings, HRVs in Tampakan: “Their blood is in your hands!”
[click to view]

Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power
[click to view]

Testimony of the case in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal Hearing - Corporate Human Rights Violations and Peoples Access to Justice. Geneva, 23 June 2014
[click to view]

Media Links

Killer Dam: Xstrata Tampakan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoYTNEli8gA
[click to view]

Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) for Peoples' Advocacy vis-a-vis Extractive Industries
[click to view]

Action Alert: Soldiers massacre family of anti-mining human rights defender in Tampakan, Southern Philippines (Juvy Capion)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Tampakan mine area
[click to view]

Juvy Capion
[click to view]

Other CommentsSee more at: http://alyansatigilmina.net/2013/01/29/tampakan, http://www.piplinks.org/companies/xstrata
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ContributorAlyansa Tigil Mina
Last update23/01/2017
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