Photo credits and descriptions to: Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada: The top photo depicts: “Tapian pit, the first of two copper-gold mines operated by Placer Dome on Marinduque.” The bottom photo depicts: “The first piping tailings into Calancan Bay where Placer Dome dumped mine tailings from the Tapian mine into the sea between 1975-1991 – leading to the destruction of two major coral reefs, loss of food security for 12 fishing villages and an impacted ecosystem that has never been remediated.”
Mining Resisters: Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern (MACEC).
Location: Marinduque, Philippines
Mining Company: Marcopper/Placer Dome/Barrick Gold
Nominated By: Beth Dollaga
Written By: Beverly Ma, with the support of Dr. Catherine Coumans & Beth Beth Manggol (MaCEC Secretariat)
Twenty-three years ago in the province of Marinduque, Philippines, a poorly sealed pipe at the base of the Taiping Marcopper mining pit burst; forcing 1.6 million cubic meters of toxic tailings waste into the surrounding Boac River. This disaster attracted worldwide attention and to date, the Canadian mining company responsible for the spill (Placer Dome/Barrick’s Gold) has yet to make any reparations.
In response, The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern (MACEC) was established, and they have relentlessly been calling for justice alongside locals and community members ever since. Not only are they advocates for environmental restoration and supporting the health of locals affected by this particular disaster, but they are also advocates for opposing mining of any kind for the Philippines. In 2015, they asked their representative in congress to protect Marinduque against future mining projects. This led to a passing of a bill that banned mining projects across the province. Currently, MACEC is campaigning for this bill to pass into law.
In a statement for the 23rd anniversary of the Placer Dome Marcopper disaster, MACEC proposes the following calls to action for present and future leaders of the Philippines:
- Announce the entire province of Marinduque’s mining-free zone;
- The case of the Provincial Government against the Placer Dome / Barrick Gold is immediately filed in Canada;
- Perform a comprehensive health and environmental assessment of the affected communities in the province;
- Place footbridges and warnings on rivers and seals contaminated with toxic chemicals to prevent massive illness by residents of Boac, Mogpog and Sta. Cruz.
- Conduct rehabilitation of the Boac river and river of Mogpog as well as Calancan Bay to gradually allow citizens to resettle.
Join us to celebrate BC Mining Resisters of the Year at the GALA OF RESISTANCE on Wednesday, May 1st in Vancouver, BC, unceded Coast Salish Territories.