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I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Small mining, big death

Those Compostela Valley landslides? Could they have been caused by small mining operations? Already, eighteen are dead and more than 900 have been displaced. I mean, wow. If it is proven that small mining caused – or even contributed to – the landslides, then I say it’s time to reassess (if we haven’t already) the conventional wisdom that small mining operations are better than large-scale ones.

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3 Responses

  1. masara_line_jr says:

    I think this is a foolish accusation that small scale mining was the cause of the landslide. Let me take you to the TRUTH why there is a landslide. Lets start with the history why it is the masara mountains are bald already.

    We back late 60′s the Masara had been suffering a forest fire at that time, but its already 2008, Why is it that it still bald? The problem is the LGU why is it that they don’t have a tree planting program for that area and also this because of the Kaingin system of the local residents.

    In addition, the landslide area has a source of potable water of which most of the villagers source of water supply. Now, the villagers makes a pool on that area, but not a concrete pool, just a conventional pool with a logs to trap the water. That cause the landslide last August 2007, and because of that pool, again it happens now September 2008.

    So, the accusation that the small scale mining is the cause of the landslide is DEFINITELY a FALSE ACCUSATION.

  2. rom says:

    masara: welcome to the smoking room! Thanks for clearing that up.

  3. akasnam says:

    I have some reservations about mining activities in general (be they small-, medium- or large-scale). But for the sake of fairness, the landslide in Masara was not at all caused by mining activities. The soil, pounded by incessant rain, finally gave in. The factors, among others, are kaingin, deforestation, and the fire that consumed the forest of Masara in the 60s. It should be noted that the composition of the soil in that area, as well as in neighboring areas, is what the local folks call “apga” (which is kinda spongy and porous). It can just let go in the form of “buhawi” (flashflood or avalanche).
    Mining in Masara is tunneling, which is less invasive and destructive than open-cutting, as in the case of the now-defunct North Davao Mining Corporation.
    Masara is like a harlot that has been to different screwers (e.g. SaMiCo, Apex Mining Corp, Phil-Metal, then presently Crew-Mining).
    If we were to call these mining companies evil, I can vouch that the present one would be the lesser or least evil. Crew Mining makes use of the local manpower. It employs residents in the area and gives preferential treatment to indigenous people (”lumad”) — there may be reason for this, but that’s beside the point. It relocates residents that are within the mining site to safer places. It has some community outreach programs. It maintains public road even up to the highway (that is, Mawab)… Things that were never explored before when Masara was under Filipino corporations. tsk, tsk tsk.

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