Mining firm vows livelihood aid for small-scale miners

Friday, February 21, 2014

THE King-King Copper-Gold Project (KCGP) will be providing livelihood assistance to some 1,000 small-scale miners and residents in King-king, Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

KGCP is part of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) between the Philippine government and Nationwide Development Corporation (Nadecor) while the US-based St. Augustine Copper-Gold Ltd (SAGCL) is responsible for the overall development, operation, and technical aspects of KGCP.

SAGCL country manager Clyde Gillespie, during a press briefing at the White House on Wednesday evening, said they are giving three livelihood options to SSMs and residents in the area -- offer them work at KGCP, provide them livelihood programs, or remain as SSMs.

"With the three options we are able to come up with a solution that will give them something better," he said.

Gillespie said that based on their observation, residents and SSMs are living in a not very safe condition because of the degradation of the environment in the area due to bad practices in small scale mining.

He said they will be hiring SSMs because, as miners, they will understand what the company needs.

"We will be working with Tesda to provide the miners proper training and also to have a facility in Pantukan," Gillespie said.

He said they will give the SSMs and residents better opportunities by working as contractors so that they will continue to have income.

If they want to do something different, they will assist the residents in their relocation and make sure they have settled in their new communities. The company will then provide livelihood programs to the SSMs and residents.

"For those who want to remain as SSMs, we will be working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in finding a new location for them, give them better training, and help them build and process facilities," Gillespie said.

He said they have started initial discussions with the SSMs and residents but they did not go into details yet.