Philippines: mining company quits project after CAFOD campaign



Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton has pulled out of a nickel mining project in the Philippines following a campaign by CAFOD.

BHP Billiton sold its 40 percent stake in the massive project to local joint-venture partner AMCOR (Asiaticus Management Corp).

Launching its campaign in 2008, CAFOD claimed that local people were kept in the dark about the project which, it said, could lead to soil erosion, landslides, flash floods and pollution that could affect the livelihoods of 65,000 people.

As part of the Unearth Justice campaign, CAFOD is reiterating its call for a new, independently monitored community consent process to be carried out before any mining goes ahead in Macambol.

"Given the serious flaws in the official consent process, AMCOR and any future partners in the project cannot use this to push ahead with mining in the area," said CAFOD's extractives policy analyst, Sonya Maldar.

"There must be a new consent process that is genuinely free and fair," she said.

The site is close to two designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Hamiguitan Mountains and Pujada Bay.

CAFOD has claimed that government officials and AMCOR had offered bribes to gain support for the mine and to silence criticism.

More than 6,000 cards, emails and protest letters were sent to BHP Billiton.

Source: CAFOD

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