Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mining 3: Debates on Mining

My article, FAT-FREE ECONOMICS: Mining and environmentalism, fancy and reality has attracted various comments and debates + 219 facebook recommendations, as of 6pm, March 17, 2012. Below are the comments and exchanges in

I also posted that article in my facebook wall, and it also attracted more comments from some friends. I am posting those comments, further below.

Readers can see the various perspectives and opinions about the mining debate. So enjoy reading.

Nonoy Oplas, Mel Lorenzo Accad and 219 others recommend this.


  • Joshua Lipana ·  ·  Top Commenter · Assitant Editor, TOS Blog at The Objective Standard
    Spot on! "No mining, no modern life. No mining, no steel and cement, no glasses and minerals, no cars and buses, no cellular phones and computers, no electrical wires and cables, no TV and air-con, no malls and buildings, no tricycles and tractors. Steel, cement, copper, nails, etc. all come from mining, not from farming or fishing, not from politics or government. A typical cellphone is made up of cobalt, silver, gold and palladium - all are mineral products. Even a barong-barong or bahay kubo will require nails, hammer, saw or bolo/itak - all from mining."

    • Joshua Lipana ·  ·  Top Commenter · Assitant Editor, TOS Blog at The Objective Standard
      We should deregulate the private sector and liberate productive businessmen and entrepreneurs to create as much value and prosperity as they can. We should welcome profit, employment, and the development of resources. We should welcome a higher standard of living. Yes to mining.

      • Tyrone John R. Gotera ·  Top Commenter · Packer at Sbc packers
        LOPEZs of ABS-CBN must live without cellphone, computer, a decent house, and everything that is made of steel or mineral just to make them realize that their anti-mining advocacy is only a fat! Wahaha!

        • Fred Nefy
          "mine & go" benefits only the rich like MVP. Put those factories here and manufacture these minerals here in the Philippines... not China! so the common people can get more jobs.

        • Lloyd Tordecillas ·  ·  Top Commenter · Reports Analyst/Developer at Red Core Solutions
          yes mining is good... if it is properly regulated.... I repeat: PROPERLY regulated.

        • Glyd Jun AraƱes · Research Assistant at Philippine Women's College of Davao
          I don't want mining to be supported in this country, for the good reason that Filipinos will be the ones with the least benefits from this. Imagine, foreign companies create mining firms in the country, they take out all the precious materials, while our people do get paid for their work these firms return those precious materials as final products--for a greater price than what our Filipino miners' salary. Capitalist exploitation at its finest.

          I'd rather Philippines make mining firms OUTSIDE the country and manufacture goods. Isn't that the system of rich countries, so Philippines should emulate it.

          • Henry Joseph V. Sarmiento
            Sound advise but we are not a rich country capable of competing against huge mining corporations. Lets be realistic, the only way we can benefit is by changing the law/policies to ensure that our country is the one that benefits the most from the country's mining sector and implement it correctly!

          • Nonoy Oplas · University of the philippines
            Based on data from the Chamber of Mines, other sources, 70-90 percent of all mining in the country are small-scale, only 10-30% are large-scale mining. Even the central bank or BSP says that they get 60% or more of their gold reserves from small scale mining. The notion that multinationals control mining in the country is wrong.

          • Diane Dugan Eustaquio
            Mr. Aranes, you need to research more. You come from Davao, where a lot of gold sourced by the Central Bank comes from - are the miners there legitimate foreign companies? Aren't the small scale miners in Diwalwal Filipinos? Tell me who among the Philippine mining firms have the money to do mining outside of the Philippines?

          • Ike Eslao · Works at SMI-Xstrata Copper
            Another ignorant follwer of Gina Lopez. You don't know that mining under FTAA brings 70% of revenue to the government. If all the illegally mined gold were done via legitimate mining, the Phil government could have been as rich as most middle east countries by now. Foreign mining companies? Who do you think drilled all the oils in the middle east and all the diamonds in South Africa? If they were exploited by foreign companies, why do middle east countries control the world's oil?

        • Ike Eslao · Works at SMI-Xstrata Copper
          If mining is dangerous, then using fire for cooking is more dangerous because fires kill more people than mining. Let them eat raw food. So those who oppose mining and all other dangerous activities should go back to living in caves and eat raw meat.

          • Russel John Ambrocio · University of Makati, Philippines
            hindi rin, bakit nu ba ngagawang epkekto ng mining sa bansa? sinisira yung mga kagubatan buti ba kung napapalitan ang kagubatan eh. tapos yung mga pumapabor kapag nasalanta sa GOBYERNO ANG SISI. PERO SILA NAKINABANG SA PAGMIMINA NA YUN. SANA MAGING MULAT TYO SA KATOTOHANAN HINDI MAGING MULAT SA PERA! TUMINGIN TYO SA MAHABANG EPEKTO HINDI SA ONE TIME NA KAGINHAWAHAN....

            • Ike Eslao · Works at SMI-Xstrata Copper
              Mukhang isa pang ignoranteng follower in Gina Lopez. Mining companies nagtanim na ng 15 million puno. Ikaw ilan bang puno ang natanim mo?

          • Olfu Pointgetter ·  ·  Top Commenter
            kaya nga Sabi ko MVP REGULATED mining only!

            • Ace Christian Serraon ·  ·  Top Commenter ·Panginoong Maylupa at Silong ni Pepe Internet at Kape
              No mining, no modern life FTW!

              • Nard Beringuela · 
                No mining, no modern life? Haha! That's basically true and this is the main justification why mining companies should continue their operations? But look at the communities near the mining sites. Do they experience the so-called "modern life?" If you will look on another lens, yes, with mining operations near their areas, they can have jobs, but look at the big difference in terms of what they receive from what the mining firm is getting. And mind you guys, cars, buses, cellphones, computers, tv, air-con are not manufactured here. We only export the raw materials to advanced countries, then we import the finish products. Well, that is globalization right? Division of labor? But if this process continues, our own resources will be depleted. We should really push the govt to regulate mining firms and implement a responsible mining policy. With that, we can protect both the environment and the people living in the countryside which are greatly affected by mining operations. We rely on true, scientific and realistic policies that will enable us to use our resources benefit our own people.
                I'm not a pro in things like this. But this is my stand in regard to the mining policies that we have right now and I hope our govt should really discuss this issue asap.

                • Nonoy Oplas · University of the philippines
                  As I posted above, about 70-90 percent of all mining activities in the country are done by small-medium scale operations, only 10-30% by large-scale companies. So the fear of "foreign or multinationals control", or "big capitalist control" is wrong. I also wrote in my paper that govt should indeed regulate the industry, and that its regulations should apply to all, small to large operations.

              • Ike Eslao · Works at SMI-Xstrata Copper
                Calling the editor of this article: You are using graphics from illegal mining. Illegal mining is the biggest reason for mercury poisoning and increasing the incidence of poverty in so-called mining areas because they are hired by chinese traders who smuggle the gold out and corrupt local officials who protect them. They destroy the environment, enslave poor people and blameeverything to legitimate mining. Gina Lopez showed pictures of illegal mining to blame legitimate mining. Yet she never said a word about illegal mining. Very honest sya!

                • Olfu Pointgetter ·  ·  Top Commenter
                  pero again sabi nga ni LOPEZ NO AMOUNT of reforestation ang possible pag 2luyan daw nakalbo ang mga bundok//puno. pero ang saken nman ok lng kahit mabuhay pa sa kweba BAM! ok n yun! pero dapat madami good stufss ehehehe at xempre kung gs2 tlg nila mining yung dapat piling pili at regulated.. we need to get the point of the Anti's and the Pro's in mining pra balance lng yun ang totoo and that is the FUNKING realistic world.

                  • Nonoy Oplas · University of the philippines
                    All the stuff made by ABS-CBN, Meralco, Powerplant Mall, etc -- cement, steel, electrical cables, audio & video equiptment, OB vans and towers, etc., are products of mining. The most rabid anti-mining groups are not prepared to live in caves, no electricity, no internet, no facebook.

                  • Olfu Pointgetter ·  ·  Top Commenter
                    Nonoy Oplas the most rabid anti-mining groups are not prepared to live in caves, no electricity, no internet, no facebook. - you are probably right there man yeah not just the rabid but the funking corrupt crocodiles in the politics as wel but not all i thinkl!! but mine is i hope they choose the right mining place and when they start their mining job i hope they will regulate it THe most RABID anti mining groups also are probaly uneducated about it or they have theire own special reason why they are aginst it

                  • Ike Eslao · Works at SMI-Xstrata Copper
                    Another ignorant follower of Gina Lopez. You don't know mining has planted over 15 million trees accross the country while the anti-mining people have not even planted a fraction of this. Eh ikaw, how many trees have you planted yourself?

                And here are the comments from my facebook wall. Byron, apologies for not asking your permission to post your comments outside of my facebook wall. I need the readers of this blog post to see and read your points, something that many of them may share. Besides, my facebook wall is generally "public" to my 1,300+ friends and perhaps, can be seen by other people who are not my fb friends.

                • Byron Abadeza pero sir, yung kampanya to stop large scale mining ay sa mga "no-go zones" sa Pilipinas (mga watershed area, heritage at protected areas, atbp), may mga lugar din na ang DENR mismo ang nag-identify sa geohazard map nila. Hindi naman zero mining sa buong mundo ang gusto, hindi pa nga zero mining sa buong Pilipinas eh, wala nga din malinaw na posisyon sa small-scale eh ang talagang tinututulan ay large-scale sa mga no-go zones na identified na ng batas at ng DENR
                  Thursday at 10:16pm ·  ·  1

                • Nonoy Oplas Thanks for that insight Byron. In most anti-mining literatures that I saw and read, like in Semirara, Marinduque, Surigao, etc., the focus is on the "ugliness" of an open-pit mining sites, whether they are go or no-go zones and thus, the call for an end to large-scale, corporate mining.

                • Maritess Tesoro pag-iisipan ko, hehe

                • Byron Abadeza gaya din nga sir ng sabi ninyo, may iba pang paraan ng pagmimina, yung open-pit daw ang pinaka-mapaminsala sa kalikasan kaya may-ban dito ang ilang LGUs sa Pilipinas at ilang bansa sa mundo

                • Nonoy Oplas I wrote in my article,
                  "If it is possible to do mining via underground tunnels, it should be good and cool. The problem is that it will make mining and mineral products costlier, and people will complain. They want their computers and cellphones, their TV and refrigerators, their motorcycles, cars and tractors, their construction materials and electricity rates, to be cheap and affordable."

                • Byron Abadeza ako eh mas medyo pundamental yung objection ko sa large scale mining, isipin na lang ninyo yung Makati na mga (mga 7.++ x 4.++ km), tapos bakuran, hukayin, at butasan mo ng mga 2km (either pahaba, pabilog, etc.), siguro kakain ng mga hanggang, ngayon eh paligiran mo ng tubig dagat at gawin mong isla, nakakatuwa ba yun? Ganyan ang nangyari/nangyayari sa Manicani Island sa Eastern Samar na kalahati ng size ng Makati. bagay ng large scale sa mga nasa kontinente (kung saan naman talaga nagmula yung mga large scale mining companies), hindi sila bagay sa Pilipinas, lalo na sa mga isla natin

                • Nonoy Oplas May points ka dyan By. Nakapunta ka HK di ba, ganda ng new airport nila. Gawa yon from reclaimed land, dating dagat, naging isla. Saan sila kumuha ng lupa at bato, saan pa, di sa ibang isla at lupa nila, kinalbo ang mga puno, kinayod ng libo-libong byahe ng mga bulldozers, backhoe, etc., kinarga sa mga barges at nilagay sa dagat, tumaas ang lupa, nilagyan ng semento at mga bakal, airport na. Super laking airport. Yong kinalbo at kinayod nilang mga isla? Ang pangit din ng hitsura. I think similar scenes as open pit mining.

                  Even the most "responsible", the most "sustainable" mining, land reclamation, highway constructions, etc., will have environmental tradeoff. Zero damage to the environment is impossible. Just a question of how much tradeoff we can accept and tolerate.

                • Byron Abadeza gaya ng sabi ko hindi ako gusto yung trade off sa mga isla, ngayon kung di naman sa mga isla, matatanggap ko kung ang resulta talaga eh paggaan sa buhay ng mga tao (yung kapag nagtrabaho ka ng husto eh maa-ani mo yung pinaghirapan mo) marami na akong nakausap na mga nagtrabaho ng ilang dekada sa large scale mining pero hindi naman naging magaan ang buhay matapos ang ilang dekada, yung mga naging magaan ang buhay ay dahil sa pagsisikap ng mga anak nila na makapag-ibang bansa atbp, mas lamang pa yung mga naga-ayos ng paninda sa supermarket eh kapag nakapagsilbi sila ng 20 years eh may separation pay na milyon kapag nagsara yung kumpanya. yung sa marinduque eh ewan ko kung maliban sa mine tailings eh may iniwan sila sa mga naging trabahador nila mula sa mga kumunidad (marami kasi sa mga full time na nagta-trabaho sa large scale mines eh mga dayo) nung magsara sila

                There is a need to display more responsibility on both or all sides of the mining debate. The mining companies, small to large enterprises, need to be more responsible and accountable of their actions. The anti-mining groups and individuals, need to be more realistic in admitting up to what extent of environmental damage they can tolerate because a "zero damage" to the environment is impossible, as I and others have argued above.

                There will be more grey areas that will surface and this debate will continue into the future.

                See also:
                Mining 1: Mineral Rights, September 09, 2010
                Mining 2: Insurgents and Mining Companies, October 25, 2011
                Fat-Free Econ 3: Mining and Environmentalism, March 15, 2012

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