5/27/2013

"FIÈVRE DE L'OR" ... À MINDANAO !

En novembre 2012, quatre compagnies, qui sous couvert d’extraction de sable et de gravier, cherchaient en réalité de l’or, ont vu leurs activités stoppées.

Néanmoins, six mois plus tard l’on s’aperçoit que le problème n’est toujours pas réglé.

L’extraction  illégale se poursuit.

Dans cette région, proche de Cagayan de Oro, la teneur en or est, comme dans la plupart des régions aurifères de l’archipel, de 5 grammes d’or par mètre cube de sable déplacé. Essayez de vous rendre compte de l’impact sur l’environnement ; il faut déplacer et filtrer 200 mètres cubes de terre, boue, sable et gravier, pour récupérer un kilogramme de métal précieux.

La majorité des compagnies qui sont engagées dans cette activité sont sous contrôle de nationaux Chinois et Coréens. Les locaux faisant le sale boulot pour un salaire de misère.
Maintenant vouloir transformer ces mineurs philippins en ouvriers employés dans des entreprises de fabrications de briques, part certainement d’un bon sentiment.



A mon avis, un petit paramètre n’a certainement pas été pris en compte par les autorités compétentes : ‘’La fièvre de l’or”, la possibilité pour un de ces ouvriers de devenir riche du jour au lendemain en découvrant un filon.

Chose qui ne risque pas de leur arriver dans la réalisation de briques.

Pour ceux qui ne le sauraient pas, la rivière Iponan est cette rivière qui arrose la ville de Iligan City, ville qui a été frappée par une terrible catastrophe lors du passage d’un presque typhon nommé Sendong.

En décembre 2011, plus de 2.000 personnes ont perdu la vie du fait des inondations provoquées par la crue soudaine, de nuit, des rivières de la région.

Il est prouvé que les activités illégales d’abattage des arbres et d’extraction d’or ont été les principaux facteurs ayant entrainé cette catastrophe.  


AN ENVIRONMENT group is optimistic that the greening of water at Iponan River two weeks ago may be seen regularly as illegal mining operations in the upstream have been slowly curbed.

Sulog, an environment group, has been massively campaigning against the stoppage of illegal mining operations in the upstream barangays of Iponan River.

Director Orlando Ravanera, Sulog chair and regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), said the river will gradually become clear once the full implementation of the law against illegal mining will be sustained.

Ravanera said the improvement of the Iponan River is the result of the group’s full implementation of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) agreement to temporarily stop the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) to stakeholders that applied for quarry while the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) waits for the complete signing by the 13 local agencies.


The stakeholders who are expected to sign the MOA are Sulog, the MGB, local government offices of Cagayan de Oro, Opol and Iligan, EMB, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), 4th infantry Battalion, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Philippine Air Force.

Ravanera said City Mayor Vicente Emano signed the MOA in April.

The group is expecting Iligan City mayor Laurence Lluch Cruz and the 4th ID to sign the MOA to fully implement the agreement.

The MOA signing came after a series of raids has been conducted, resulting in the arrest of several Chinese nationals found to be illegally extracting gold and working without authorization.

Ravanera said there is no sustainable mining in Cagayan de Oro and the need to completely shut down the illegal mining activities has been recommended.

He said illegal mining is very impractical along the Iponan river stretch as it destroys the surrounding mountains due to hydraulic, backhoes and open pit mining processes that will likely result to siltation and brown-coloration of water.

He said based on the group’s research, illegal mining activity in the Iponan River stretch will waste one ton of extracted minerals in exchange for only five grams of high quality gold.

Ravanera said illegal mining activities in this area have been ongoing for almost three decades which resulted to 34 deaths since then.

Once the MOA is fully implemented, Ravanera said law enforcers like the PNP, 4th ID and NBI will be deployed along the 100 kilometer-stretch mining areas from Opol to Iligan to guard against illegal mining operations.

To closely guard the mining areas, the group will set up outposts in different areas guarded by employed volunteers of the affected barangays, citing that without these outposts, illegal mining will continue.

Livelihood programs for miners



With the full force of the law, volunteers will be employed to make sure that the laws will be strictly implemented.

Ravanera said most of the mining activities are funded by Chinese Nationals who earn millions while the Filipinos who do the hard labor only get a small portion of the pie.

He said the Sulog group is now implementing a livelihood program in which local miners will be engaged in manufacturing compressed earth blocks (CEB) in Barangay Mambuaya.

According to a research, CEBs are the main construction materials used in building and empowering communities to produce on-demand housing.

CEBs are made from an appropriate mix of soil, non-expansive clay, silt powder, and sharp sand to small gravel content. Soil moisture content ranges from four percent to 12 percent by weight.

CEB lends itself to 100 percent onsite building material sourcing. The thermal insulation, sound insulation, and strength of the bricks are exceptional.

They can also be used in fences, road paving, ovens, dams, bakery building, greenhouses, raised garden beds, etc.

Ravanera said with this kind of initiative, Mother Nature will be saved and local miners will no longer resort to Illegal mining activities.

Novembre 2012, le même problème à Cagayan de Oro (CDO).

Four companies issued quarry permits by the city government to extract sand and gravel in the hinterland Iponan River were actually mining for gold, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).


Cases of mineral theft, illegal exploration and disobedience to persons of authority have been filed against KFNET, Philippine Long Sangda Corp., South Ocean Mining Corp. and Yellow Stone Minerals and Development Corp., said Rex Monsanto, the bureau’s regional chief.

Except for the Filipino-owned Yellow Stone Minerals and Development Corp., the mining firms are operated by either Chinese or Korean nationals.

Mining in the river has been blamed for the environmental destruction and siltation of the waterway. In December last year, when Tropical Storm “Sendong” suddenly struck the city, the Iponan overflowed and flooded low-lying barangays, killing close to 2,000 people in the city and neighboring Iligan City.

Monsanto said the firms had been using their dredging barges along the Iponan River in the city’s upland area for gold-mining activities. The barges have been abandoned by the miners since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) filed the cases early this month.

Councilor President Elipe, chair of the city council’s committee on environment, said only quarry permits had been issued to the companies. He earlier denied the existence of mining in the river.

Last month, authorities arrested two Chinese nationals who operated in the Iponan River using four barges. The city prosecutor’s office, however, dismissed the cases filed against the Chinese, saying the DENR was not a party to the filing of the charges.

The Higaonons, an indigenous group of people in Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon that has been living along the river, are asking Mayor Vicente Emano and Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno to allow them to use the abandoned barges for their own sand and gravel extracting operations.

Datu Kadayunan Melenio Minister said the leaders of the Office of the Higaonon Tribal Association Administrative Council of Datus signed a resolution appealing to the mayor to allow the tribe to operate its own sand and gravel business.

The group said it could earn money making hollow blocks and selling gravel for road improvement projects in inner barangays.



An environmental group, Sulog, is seeking a moratorium on all extractive activities in the river.


Sulog en langue Visaya ou Bisaya : rapide, torrentiel.






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