Nature over Treasure: A Petition to Strictly Implement the Open-pit Mining Ban
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Open-pit mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit. But with recent events in accordance with mining companies, it appears that open-pit mining is demonized because of the lack of compliance with the rules and concomitant enforcement by the government.
Aside from defiant actions of mining companies, open pit mining possesses very high risks in tropical and archipelagic countries like the Philippines. Unlike other countries which are continental land masses and are not commonly prone to heavy rains. In the Philippines Heavy rains and strong typhoons are normal. In addition, all the open pit mines lie beside rivers, so that every time there is a tailing spill, the rivers are always on the receiving end. Open pit mines near rivers and streams will put people’s lives at risk.
The Philippines is not a continental land mass where most open pit mining occurs. It’s an island ecosystem of 7000 islands and is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The Philippines is not a fit and proper place for open pit mining. The people will only suffer.
Among the major concerns regarding open-pit mining, are the change in landform, the generation of an acid mine drainage, destruction of ecosystems, and the deprivation of water supply. Due to the huge environmental disturbance the method brings, and perceived to be without corresponding corrective measures. Results a lot of these abandoned mines and they continue to hound the mining industry.
All these, however, can be reversed, mitigated, if not totally avoided, with the proper solutions, such as the Strict implementation of Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2017-10 specifically prohibits the open-pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver, and complex ores in the country.
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