NCIP Gives the Green Light for SMI Project
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has lit the green light for Sagittarius Mines Inc.(SMI).
According to Bae Dalena Samling, chieftain of the Danlag Tribal Council, this is in connection to the company extracting untapped copper and gold found in ancestral lands of the B’laan people. In a summit, she showed the Certification Precondition (CP) given by NCIP to SMI, which means that the site affected and covered by any application for license or lease, concession or production-sharing agreement do not overlay with any ancestral domain area of any indigenous cultural community.
Samling applauded the NCIP issuance, adding that the negotiation between SMI and the B`laan tribal community took 10 years. Under this deal, the IP group permitted SMI to undertake this project on the condition that they treat the tribe with the utmost honour, and that they practice sustainable mining activities.
The biggest stalled mining project in the Philippines, the Tampakan project is located at the intersection of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and Sarangani. Since 2010, the project has been put on hold because the government unit of South Cotabato banned open-pit mining in the area. The ban is now the main hindrance to this project, on top of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of the Municipality of Tampakan terminating its municipal agreement with SMI.
SMI said on its website that if this is developed, the Tampakan project “has the potential to make a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of the Philippines and enable a better future for the people of southern Mindanao.”