KALIKASAN― PEOPLES NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org url:
29 August 2008
Indigenous peoples and environmental activists to ANZ Bank and HSBC:
stop funding destructive mining project in Nueva Vizcaya
Environmentalists, indigenous peoples, and Church people picketed the
Australian New Zealand (ANZ) Bank office at Makati City demanding the bank
to withdraw its financial funding from the controversial OceanaGold
Corporation (OGC) Didipio Gold-Copper mining project in Kasibu, Nueva
The protesters symbolically launched their international campaign against
the said project by submitting to the bank a petition supported by various
organizations from the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
"The petition is demanding for ANZ and HSBC, who are the major funders of
OceanaGold, to pull out from the Didipio mining project. It would not be
agreeable for ANZ and HSBC to be known as supporters of projects which
have caused massive environmental degradation and human rights violations.
These offenses run contrary to their claims of 'socially and
environmentally responsible' banking norms," said Clemente Bautista,
national coordinator of environmental activist group Kalikasan People's
Network for the Environment.
The group said that they have already gathered 495 signatures in a week's
time, mostly from the Philippines and Australia.
"We believe that the Didipio mining project of OGC is becoming more
financially and economically unviable every day. Until now, there are no
fresh investments and loans that are coming to the project. Based on its
own financial report, OGC is consistently losing money since last year.
This should serve as a warning to new investors not to risk their money in
a project which is financially unstable, environmentally destructive and
socially unacceptable," Bautista added.
Last June 24, Australian-New Zealand owned OceanaGold Philippines Inc.
said the firm is suspending its $117-million gold-copper project due to
the controversies hounding its operations and financial difficulties its
facing. Based on the annual reports of OGC, it lost US$23.43 million and
US$69.04 million in 2006 and 2007 respectively. This is in spite the
company having raised additional capital of Canadian $90.00 million in its
initial public offering in the Toronto Stock Exchange last July 2007.
In addition to OGC's financial instability, the project is garnering much
negative publicity because of the wrongs it has committed to the local and
national minority residents. Even the provincial government of Nueva
Vizcaya passed a resolution withdrawing their support for the project last
"Majority of the Ifugao and indigenous peoples in Nueva Vizcaya is
strongly opposed to the OGC project in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. OGC violated
our rights as indigenous people when they entered our communities without
our consent. They have demolished our houses and are now forcefully
seizing our natural resources and lands where we get our food and
subsistence," said Peter Duyapat, Ifugao leader of Didipio Earth Savers
Bautista pointed out that the mining project is doomed to fail as it is
inherently flawed. It has caused widespread community displacement, human
rights violations, economic dislocation and environmental devastation
since it set foot in Nueva Vizcaya.
"OceanaGold will suffer the same fate as the Australian-owned Lafayette
Mining Philippines Inc. which went bankrupt last December 2007. The
support given to Lafayette by the Arroyo government and international
banks were not enough to salvage it from financial losses and wide
national and international opposition. The OGC and Lafayette mining
projects are both anti-people and anti-environment. These are the main
reasons why OGC will not prosper and will fail," according to a statement
of Defend Patrimony! Alliance, a national multi-sectoral alliance opposing
the government's mining policy and programs.
Reference: Clemente Bautista
09228449787, National Coordinator, KPNE
Peter Duyapat Sr. 09057119685, leader DESAMA
Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy, Central, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
KALIKASAN- People's Network for the Environment is a network of people's
organizations (POs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and
environmental advocates. It believes that the struggle for the environment
is a struggle of the people, thus all environmental action shall have the
interest of the majority at their core.