Pangasinenses face black sand mining anew

BAGUIO CITY (September 5, 2021)— Villagers in four towns including Dagupan City in Pangasinan are faced with yet another black sand mining project.

Iron Ore, Gold, and Vanadium Resources (Phils.) Inc., or . (referred to as Vanadium Resources), an Australian mineral exploration company is applying for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for its proposed Iron Ore Pangasinan Offshore Magnetite Mining Project in Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Binmaley and Dagupan City covering a total area of 9,252.4506 hectares.

A series of public consultations via online or zoom meetings were scheduled from September 13 to 17, 2021. On September 13 at 9:30 AM will be for Labrador; September 14 at 9:30 AM for Lingayen; September 15 at 9:30 AM for Sual; September 15 at 2:00 PM for government agencies; September 16 at 9:30 AM for Binmaley and September 17 at 9:30 AM for Dagupan City. The meeting will be accessed through its Zoom meeting ID: 833 5348 8226 with a Passcode : Pangasinan.

The project is categorized as Category A, an Environmentally Critical Project (ECP), which entails extraction of metallic and non-metallic minerals including extraction of oil and gas, deuterium which is done off-shore.

Magnetite is an important magnetic iron ore that are to be extracted from the black sand where Philippine sea shores are abundant of. In order to get enough amount of magnetite needed for industrial use, large volumes of black sand in wide area of sea shores have to be scooped and processed.

Magnetite mining, environmental experts claim, causes agricultural and environmental problems. It causes coastal erosion, inundation of communities, and degradation of marine ecosystem.

Notwithstanding floods (river, coastal, mudflow), food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, soil erosion, waste overflow, surface water pollution/decreased water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems.

Potentially, magnetite mining causes biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, soil contamination, oil spills, groundwater pollution or depletion, reduced ecological/hydrological connectivity and mine tailing spills. It may also result to violence related health impacts (like homicides, rape, etc..), deaths, and other environmental related diseases and health issues like exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (i.e. radiation, etc…) and malnutrition.

Studies also point out that magnetite mining operations engender corruption and co-optation of different actors, evential loss of livelihood, violations of human rights, loss of landscape/sense of place and oTher socio-economic impacts.

In its ECC application though, the proponent believe the untapped resources along the Lingayen Gulf would redound to the Gross Domestic Product of the country because of the rich deposits in the area that must be “exploited” for the greater good.



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