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Mining company withdraws after five year campaign

The Western Mining Corporation have abandoned plans to open a new operation in the Philippines, after a five year campaign organised by church, local government and environmental groups. Reporting in the latest 'Vocation For Justice', Columban Fr Frank Nally said the company had planned to open a large copper and gold mine on the island of Mindanao, in the traditional territory of the B'laan people. From the outset, the Catholic and United Church dioceses in the area and the local municipal council opposed the project. Over the past five years they have organised protests, working with international groups and informing investors to inform them of the threat mining operations would cause the indigenous peoples. The Western Mining Corporation has consistently refused to condemn human rights abuses by the Philippines miliatry against anti-mining communities in the concession area. Although Western Mining Corporation has now stood down, Fr Frank writes, campaigners are still concerned, because new mining applications could still be made for the same land. Rio Tinto has also withdrawn from the Philippines.