BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—-Clemente Bautista of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), joined environment activities in urging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop open-pit mining in the province.
In Didipio village in Kasibu town, the Australian firm OceanaGold has a gold and copper project while in Runruno, Quezon town, the British firm FCF Minerals is about to start commercial operations this year, he said.
“We express solidarity with Novo Vizcayanos and the rest of the people of Cagayan Valley in their just demand to halt the mining operations of OceanaGold and FCF Minerals,” Clemente said.
“Local ordinances have been passed in the province as a clear expression of the people’s opposition to these mines.”
He said Nueva Vizcaya, known as Cagayan Valley’s Watershed Haven, should be spared further environmental pollution and destruction, and resource depletion.
Bautista cited recent scientific studies showing the need for best industry practices to protect freshwater ecosystems, prevent biodiversity loss within mine operations and its surroundings to avoid any socio-economic and cultural dislocation in the host communities.
He said the results of the 2014 Environmental Investigative Mission showed high levels of heavy metal in the sediments and water samples from the river system.