Every year in May, the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) holds the “BC Mining Person of the Year Award” gala. Illustrious past winners include Pierre Lebel of Imperial Metals (Mount Polley Mine) and John McManus of Taseko Mines (New Prosperity Mine). This year, Mining Justice Alliance will hold our own gala to celebrate the recipients of the first ever BC Mining Resisters of the Year Awards. We will honour mining resisters who have stood up for rights, justice and self-determination, facing up to a powerful state-sponsored industry whose track record of injustice should not be celebrated. To find out more and nominate a BC Mining Resister of the Year, click here.
BC Mining Resisters: Alyansa ng Novo Vizcayano para sa Kalikasan (ANVIK) / Alliance of Novo Vizcayanos for the Environment
Nominated by: Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
What are the issues faced by the nominee and local communities?
Water is life, and the lives of frontline communities in the province of Nueva Vizcaya are at stake with the depletion of their water table and pollution of their rivers from the aggressive operations of OceanaGold. For standing up against the Australian-Canadian mining giant, they have been met with militarization, harassment lawsuits, and illegal arrests from state authorities colluding with the province’s big mines. ANVIK remains uncowed by these attacks, as they continue to campaign against large-scale mining plunder in the face of tremendous odds.
What is most important and inspiring about the nominee’s work?
The ANVIK is the broadest and staunchest alliance of environmental advocates, church workers, indigenous communities, and other citizens in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. It has led the mounting of people’s barricades against mining exploration firm Royalco in 2013 to the expansion activities of OceanaGold in 2016. It has facilitated investigative and scientific missions to expose and oppose the destruction, pollution, and violence inflicted on the critical watersheds of Mt. Caraballo and the various communities it hosts.
How have governments and the company responded?
Local governments have recognized the advocacy of ANVIK and have recently joined efforts to investigate and oppose OceanaGold and other mining projects. OceanaGold itself was forced to indefinitely postpone its expansion and take strides in complying with environmental regulations because of ANVIK’s vigilance. However the organizers and conveners of ANVIK need international support and solidarity now more than ever, in the face of worsening militarization and human rights violations. International watchdog Global Witness in fact declared the Philippines as the second deadliest country in the world for environmental defenders in 2017. ANVIK’s organizers continue to struggle amid the heightening risks they face.
The BC mining company: OceanaGold Corporation, based in Vancouver and Melbourne (Australia)
The OceanaGold Corporation is one of the largest 100% foreign-owned big mining companies in the Philippines; these have caused massive water depletion and pollution. Oceana’s Didipio project covers 14,871 hectares of biodiversity corridors and watersheds in the province of Nueva Vizcaya, threatening the water supply of many downstream villages.
Join us to celebrate BC Mining Resisters of the Year at the GALA OF RESISTANCE on Monday, May 7th in Vancouver, BC.