Magnetite Mining in the Offshore Areas of Cagayan*

team examines the rich black sand in Pamplona, Cagayanresearch team strikes a pose in front of a black sand dune-like in Sanchez Mira

*Excerpt from the policy research conducted on March 2008 by KADUAMI entitled ‘Mining in Cagayan Valley: A Study of the Effects on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Food Security and Human Rights.’ Policy research was first presented during the 3rd EED-TFIP National Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Security held on March 29-30, 2008.


The Republic Act 7942 popularly known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is a brainchild of President Fidel Ramos and a part and parcel of the Medium Term Development Plan or the Philippines 2000 program. The Philippines 2000 aims to comprehensively open the Philippine economy to foreign capital investments through deregulation (relaxation of government control to the economy), liberalization (removal or lessening of trade tariffs on imported goods and capital) and privatization of the public sector of the economy. These plans constitute the globalization in the Philippines.

These national policies have opened up vast tracts of Cagayan Valley’s land to the control of big mining transnational companies (TNCs). In 2004, President Arroyo passed EO 270 which brought forth the Mineral Action Plan (MAP) to strengthen the Mining Act. These shortened the time of processing of mining applications, “harmonized” conflicting laws that contradict the Mining Act, and subvert the people’s rights to oppose mining projects. (Defend Patrimony, MINING IN THE PHILIPPINES and the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 or Republic Act 7942)

The Philippines offshore area including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is estimated at 2.2 million km2. Potential mineral offshore resources are placer minerals including gold, chromites, magnetite, silica and aggregate resources (sand & gravel), decorative stones, manganese nodules/encrustation with associated copper, gold, zinc, and cobalt.

In June 2007, the then Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Angelo Reyes approved 11 new projects which include 6 mineral production sharing agreement and 5 exploration permits. Three of the five exploration permits were approved to Colossal Mining Corporation (CMC).

Colossal Mining Corporation, a 100 % Filipino owned company that engages in exploration, mining, and production of iron ore in the Philippines, holds three exploration permits of 36,000 hectares of offshore magnetite iron ore sites in Northern Luzon (Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur) of which 13,483.89 hectares are located in the province of Cagayan alone, situated in the municipal waters of Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug, Ballesteros, Appari, Buguey and Gonzaga of Cagayan. Colossal Mining Corporation is a partner of Bonaparte Diamond Mines NL, the sole company based in Australia that conducts marine diamond exploration.

What is Magnetite?

Magnetite is a magnetic and very dense (heavy) mineral of iron. Its chemical formula is Fe3O4. It has many industrial uses. Magnetite is an important source of iron for the iron and steel industries but it also has other uses as an industrial mineral to produce many value-added products. High-grade magnetite is used in many chemical processes including the production of iron sulfate, which is used to purify water in many major cities. Magnetite’s weight per volume makes it an important source of aggregate in the production of heavy concrete. Heavy concrete is used from the construction of baffles and containment tanks in nuclear power plants to things as everyday as counter weights in household washing machines.

Cagayan People’s Struggle against Magnetite Mining

In 2005, United Philippine-China Mining Corporation tried to drill and explore magnetite sand in the off-shore area of Brgys. Masisit and Namuac in Sanchez Mira. The company set-up a bunk houses and was able to operate for more than two months for sedimentary sampling. Residents protested and set-up a barricade in the area, calling for the company’s withdrawal from its operations. People from the affected areas, together with the church sector being led by Bishop Diosdado Talamayen, lawyers, medical doctors and other professionals and other pro-environment individuals have conducted series of education activities and mass actions. They said, a consultation was held but not all stakeholders were invited. The operation stopped and company’s equipment was pulled out. But another exploration of the area is at hand, now in the name of CMC.

At present, residents in Pamplona, Cagayan which is part of the area stated in the CMCs EP, have been conducting information and education campaigns against the impending entry and operation of the company. Four barangays in Pamplona have submitted a petition to the municipal council against the entry of this company. The municipal council has yet to take further action.

In Aparri, Cagayan, residents told the research team that on February 29, 2008, three sea vessels docked and drilled magnetite sand along the off-shore area. Residents trooped to the area of drilling operation and drove away the drillers. The drillers were able to get approximately 200 kls. of magnetite sand, according to residents, before they fled to other offshore areas of Cagayan. When the team was to leave the area, it had spotted a sea vessel still docked on a port in Aparri. The team documented and presented this to the MGB-Region II. Officials of the MGB-Region II were surprised upon seeing the photo and video documents, saying that this should not be allowed because this could be a case of minerals smuggling if these minerals be transported outside the country. According to them, before anyone could transfer minerals abroad, the company has to secure an Ore Transportation Permit (OTP). They said this will be investigated by the MGB, together with the Bureau of Customs and Philippine Coast Guard.

Potential Risks/ Effects

These mining projects claim to provide benefits to the people. The battle continues as people in the mining-affected communities in the region do not want to accept these operations as they are drawing the lessons in the experiences of others who had become victims of  mining operations.

On Environment:

Offshore mining of magnetite in Cagayan can increase vulnerability to floods as magnetite holds the sand together. The absence of magnetite in the sand can deplete and erode the coastal and near-shore areas as the experience of Bauang, La Union had shown. Bauang municipal government is now putting up seawalls as a mitigating measure for possible flooding.

On Sources of Livelihood and Food Security:

· Loss of farmlands near the coastal areas due to flooding brought about by coastal erosion and depletion

· Loss of marine sources of food and livelihood, especially in coastal areas of the region

On IP rights

The mining areas being targeted for explorations are usually those in remote areas being occupied by various ethno-linguistic groups classified as IPs that the main sources of livelihood are farming and fishing. These groups also suffer from government neglect, denying them of even the most basic social services.

Policy Recommendation

There is a need to develop a new mining code that is not created for the purpose of serving the interests of big mining TNCs and local elites, but for the national industrialization that will cater to the needs of the country’s populace.


· Development of IEC materials to popularize and continue the struggle against mining operations;

· Strengthen the peoples organizations and alliances in the area to launch concerted mass actions and increase participation in local governance

· Broaden the network of advocacy groups that will support the mass actions and help in the projection of the issue at the national and international levels

· Support the resolutions and petitions passed by the local government units opposing these mining operations

· Support the policy recommendations and actions being undertaken both at the lower and upper houses

· Continue to create national and international pressure on the mining firms concerned


106 thoughts on “Magnetite Mining in the Offshore Areas of Cagayan*”

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  2. We hope this blog would update us more on environmental concerns in the northern part of Philippines. Mining is just one of the developments that have adverse impacts on the lives of the people.

  3. magnetite mining were conducted in the offshore coast of the Lingayen Gulf especially at the coastal towns from San Fabian, Pangasinan to Bauang , La Union somewhere in 1985-1990 which resulted to flooding and reclaiming by the sea of lands being occupied by fisherfolks especially in Sto. Tomas and Agoo, La Union

    1. Willy,
      You report is very misguided and unfounded, and has absolute ZERO to do with the environment. One thing I will say is. The rape and pillage of Aparri and surrounding is 100% correct. The amount of minerals stolen by the chinese is unbeleivable, and is increasing at an alarming rate. ZERO TAXES are being paid, and ZERO HELP to the COMMUNITY. The community is BLIND to the theft going on.The only ones benifitting are the low life polititions, and their families.

      There is no doubt that the rivers up North need to be dredged,to stop flooding, but there is money to be made from it for the community, not just the chinese and the low lifes.

      Remember these people are saying they are dredging SAND !! This is a total LIE. They are dredging MAGNETITE which is 5 times the price of SAND

      I fully support the actions needed to stop this discraceful theft of Fhilipino property. All ships found dredging or stealing should be confiscated or sunk, and the captain locked up for life, as a lesson to China.

      1. i addressed your last paragraph Mr. Wald to the proponenent of Matnog Iron Ore Project at Sorsogon. They had begun its secretive shipment of the raw iron rocks to China while the face of the mountains they had shaved has became bare with all those waste rocks and silts left to be carried downstream comes rain.

  4. I see most of these comments as very sad.
    if these mining companies are controlled they can do enormous good for the country as well as the indeginoius peoples. A lot of the so called DO GOODERS come from rich families and are on a crusade to disrupt, not help. They dont have to worry about where their next bowl of rice comes from.
    the Philippines is very poor, but rich in natural reources, and its people.
    You so called DO GOODERS are trying to keep it in its present 3rd world level for ever. SHAME ON YOU ALL.

  5. ITS SHAME ON YOU GARY WALD, Its true. keeping out the mining in our country could still be one of the resons why we are still in the third world country. BUT MINING ALONE IS NOT THE ONLY OPTION. the mining areas will be ghostown after the mining boom.. who will be interested in investing into those areas after all the minerals were depleted..? proposed projects for rehabilitation would never be sufficient.. there will be no future for the children of those towns.. investors will get rich, present generation will get some money (specialy politicians), and the next generation will suffer, thats for sure. whether we like it or not its the truth behind all the investors promises ryt now.

  6. We have been receiving comments and emails from mining companies interested in the minerals of our land. Such emails and comments have even asked us to help them get samples and referrals for their business endeavors, with offers of funding and financial benefits. We would like to reiterate that our organization is a non-profit organization and any amount offered to us in any way will not waiver our stance on this issue. We are against mining operations because we believe that these operations will bring adverse impact on the environment, livelihood and subsistence of the people, not only of this generation but the future generations as well. Our organization has been fighting for the protection of our environment for 25 years now, thus we have already seen the experiences of people who were displaced from their own land, only for the mining companies to leave these lands depleted and deforested. We thank the individuals and organizations for the continuous support they give us and the communities in this struggle.

    1. I really don;t think mining is all that bad. There’s this so-called responsible mining and corporate social responsibility.

      Let’s open our minds and weigh things as they are.

      1. Yes Gabriela. Mining is not all bad. Many have benefited from it. To me, its not a question of benefits. I dont care if its proponents bribed their way and deceive ordinary residents to be permitted mine operation and amassed material wealth as much as they can from it, my only concern is the destruction it causes on the ecosystem; thus, a chain reaction of troubles emanates. This is not imagined fear…it is real and certain. Responsible mining? i think this was just coined by mining proponents to cover up the destructive nature of their industry…and it is something for the gullible.

      2. Well put, Gabriela, and Rammon Garra.

        I tend to be quite strong in having the Philippines push ahead with full on mining, and like you both there are still issues to be resolved.
        It is hard to get a real opinion as to what is the best way forward. There is the church who need to keep people as poor as they can so as to maintain complete control over the masses, as has been the case since Roman times till today.
        On the other side is the closed eye money hungry politions who would sell their own mother in a lot of cases.

        The real way forward as I see it is for the actual honest people who will be effected for good or for bad be the ones to make the final decission. This is also difficult as the church and polititions have access to lead the blind, and volunerable into making decissions.
        But when it is all said and done, the Philippines needs to get mining up and running, good or bad, as it will be mined either now or by the next generation, and there is not one single person or group who will be able to hold back progress. Feed the people now. Rice and fish do not buy school books, uniforms, lunch money and shoes. MINING DOES. The dirty ones will benifit from mining, but so will the poor. Thats life, and the wonderful people of the Philippines are not on their own in this predicament of having to say, YES or NO.
        I know I will get kicked in the teeth for this, but I am not saying sorry for being un political, and speaking the truth.

      3. To Mr. Wald:- Wonder where will you get rice and fish when its sources were already destroyed by mining. Yeah its true that there is the so-called Responsible mining…corporate responsibility…etc. but how many do it here in Philippines? Some of their promises are too good to be true (when it’s false). Search on the net places places here in Philippines which were abandoned by miners.

        Unfortunately, it seemed mining proponents understand that economic value is on mining only. Natural environment has multifarious values to a community. Anti mining individual like me places importance of a healthy environment and sustainable development. Mining is just temporary. It is a short-term unsustainable exploitation!!

  7. Contrary to what you (Philippine Lawyer) know and maybe others, after the mining boom and operation, the area does not become a ghost town. Communities develop in many of the far flung areas where mining existed. Baguio alone hosts many mining operation and because of these, communities exists in the mine site area where good facilities are present for a sustainable development. One of the mine there already offers a field trip for educational purposes. For your further information, completed aggregate or quarry areas in Antipolo areas and the vicinity are developed to sub-divisions with a good view of the city. Many people will invest for these locations you know.

    Generally speaking, mining will be present anywhere and it can not be stopped. As long as human population increases, our needs of the minerals also increasing. WIthout mining, the world economy will be way way down and in chaos. I dare anyone to tell me of any thing or product not related to mining. What are we going to do with our minerals? So, it is just a matter of how to balance the mining operation with the environmental concerns of the people. Other people especially the locals need to work and eat.

    Easy to be an anti-mining activists because they are financed by foreign entities. Get some real work and create jobs to the local people and contribute to the economy!

    1. to you EAT.., yes as we all know the mining industry in the Philippines is booming,…in fact some of my uncles are there in Baguio benefiting from the gold mining industry there. However, may I ask you you know that Baguio city’s underground is already a big big big hole? My uncles would tell me they even dig deeper just to get to those mines… and in some circumstances this holes are almost adjacent to the holes of other companies..this is baguio city!..the very own city you are selling.And we the Cagayanos are not like you? this mines in baguio are legal, whereas the black sand mining in cagayan isnt. there was no legal forum conducted before the mining, the residences were not properly notified and uneducated about the effects of the black sand mining….a complete evil act of the very own governor of cagayan… now this people are now retaliating because they’ve finally experience the bad effects of black sand mining….Also, pls have respect on other peoples comments…if these people are anti mining activists let them be, let us be, bec. it is us who know our own towns…lastly if say that this anti mining activists are financed are financed by FOREIGN ENTITIES…….THEN HOW ABOUT YOU??? you should’ve analyse those words you’ve just said before telling that….

    2. quite easy for you to lump into one anti-mining advocates as financed by foreign entities. Do you think that all those mining proponents are after the welfare of people? Many of them are motivated by greed – and that is to accumulate as much wealth as they can as if they will live forever.

      Mining should be allowed on case to case basis as long as it dont destroy ecosystem of the place. It should not be allowed on places frequented by typhoons and heavy rains or a geohazard area. Trouble is, our environment officials are sometimes perceived to be in cahoots with mining proponents that Environment Impact Study is not actually done before giving the go signal.

  8. our town is also suffering from beach mining not sure if its a chromite sand or a magnetite not so familiar with such. some officials here opposes but they cant do anything because the provincial government is allowing the said activity.
    they (local officials) even pass some resolutions mentioning about batas pambansa 265 which prohibits beach quarrying but still nothing happens. salt water threatens to pass through the sand barriers and into the rice fields.
    hope somebody will do something about it.

  9. For the information of EAT, it is not Baguio City that hosted the mining operations. It is the province of Benguet – the Municipalities of Itogon, Tuba, Mankayan, Bakun among others. Long before the mining companies operated in the Cordillera Region, the Indigneous Peoples of the Cordillera have been living there since time immemorial. THe Ibalois and kankanaeys in Itogon, south of Baguio, have been practicing small scale mining – this type of mining was sustainable for them. Why? Because they only mined out the high grade, they returned back muck waste to rehabilitate the mined out areas. When the prospectors came, under the American colonial government, the mining companies grabbed the ancestral lands of the Indigenous peoples in the guise of patented mining claims. To EAT, at one point in history, Itogon was classified a 1st class municipality but go to itogon, the roads are bad, water tables were depleted causing the loss of irrigation which eventually made if impossible for the people to do agriculture. Food security was gravely affected. There is lack of water supply for domestic use. In Barangay Loacan and Antamok, Itogon you will see the open pit mine sites which were left unrehabilitated by the Benguet Corporation. At the height of their operations, massive use of cyanide and mercury posoined the Agno River which caused the death of marine life in Lingayen Gulf. Mr EAT, the towns are not ghost towns simply because they are home to the indigenous peoples. When people lost their livelihood, it was the people together with us, NGOs (Mining Communicities Development Center and Kaduami) who tried to rehabilitate affected communites. Our real work was to develop community water systems for them to have water for domestic use, for their garden which supply them food on their table. We provided footpaths to increase their productivity and for the sake of school children. We provided other sources of livelihood for their survival. Mr EAT the people in mining areas are mostly peasants – they are our food producers. They know how to take care of the forests and the waters unlike the foreign large scale mining companies who only know how to rake the profits and ravage Philippine lands. Development should be for the people,

  10. 1) on the comment of roxanne that mining communities are mostly pheasants and food producers, from experience, most mining areas i have been to are way out in secluded areas such as high up in mountain ranges, far off-shore at. most exploration teams have to endure hours of off road driving or days of walking to get to candidate sights. There are many communities that started from workers who migrated to the sites for minesite work.

    so far i have not seen a minesite that was once a food production area. in fact most mineral rich sites are barren. a practical explanation offered to us once is that there is too much mineral natural imbalance in the soil to promote the propagation of plants. a short trip to zambales, surigao or bulacan will provide proof.

    2) on the comment of EAT, i would agree that there is hardly any inorganic matter that is not related to mining. the cars that we use are from iron ore, the cellphones we use have hearts made of gold, our homes are powered thru copper cables from power plants that use coal or diesel as fuel to name a few commonly known uses. but few people know that minerals for food, medicine and cosmetics are products of mining.

    manganese is required for the proper development of the brain, particularly for children. zinc and iron are vital for most organ functions. check out copper sulfate and note that it is a key ingredient to ladies make up. check out shampoo and ask where did the ingredients come from and so on.

    mining per see in not evil. it has been with mankind since the beginning.

    what is true is that mining companies are business entities that are run by men who are motivated by profit. properly managed, the mining resources may benefit man and its environment. some of the best forest land i have seen are the second growth of pine tree in benguet which were concessions of benguet mines. finland and the netherlands have exploited their environment and took good care of it and they have some of the best.

    in short, what we as a people lack is a balance if benefit and responsibility. if we allow business to rape the environment, then we will end up with unwanted consequences. if we keep to the principles of good stewardship particualrly of our environ ment, then we are talking of sustainable development.

    1. “so far i have not seen a minesite that was once a food production area. in fact most mineral rich sites are barren. a practical explanation offered to us once is that there is too much mineral natural imbalance in the soil to promote the propagation of plants. a short trip to zambales, surigao or bulacan will provide proof.”

      May i suggest that you go to Matnog, Sorsogon? AS pasted above, am repasting the link for you to see:

      video 1:
      video 2:
      video 3:

  11. For the information of Ms. Roxanne. I may stand corrected on history matters regarding Benguet. The ghost town issue was a comment of mine to Philippine Lawyer and so I did not mention the mining area become a ghost town. Many mining companies in Benguet was mining under an old mining law which actually has a crude operation and make the little people more helpless. Many of the small scale miners and individuals can only use mercury for a quick recovery of gold. I really doubt if the small scale miners and individuals return the mucks back. Maybe for show and publicity but not in the long run. I have seen many small scale operations.

    With the new mining law, local people have bigger voice, have a bigger role in the mining and is actually considered as a stakeholder. Not a peasant. I’d like to alleviate the status of the really small people. Hurraaay for them. I just hoped that the economic share of the local people is comparable to the “share” “given” or “donated” to the politicians. If you know what I mean.

    Huraaay on your work.

  12. Dear all,

    Isa po akong cagayana at ang family ko po nasa abulug, if u know Abulug is nasa dulo na at along babuyan sea at pacific ocean na po concern is regarding this magnetite mining..
    The last time i was there is murmur pa lng na may ganito daw pag gabi sa seashore..isang helicopter at gabi cla gumagawa ng mining..of course ang mga mamamayan is takot nmn magsumbong or knino ba nmn cla pwede magsumbong when in fact, mismong mga matataas na tao eh sangkot dito..

    Actually last Feb. may symposium po na ginawa ang LGU, ksama ang taong bayan at prang balewala din po kc kung sino yng may comment eh prang binabara ano pang reason bkit may symposium dba? ayunwlang nangyari, na2loy p rin ung mining..

    And ang update for now is 2loy na nga smin..while ung municipality ng ballesteros pinaglaban ng mamamayan…kya hindi cla ngkaroon ng mining sa area nla..

    Now, i called Geo Mines & Sciences and asking for your help…alam kong malakas po ang loob ko dhil concern ko ang mga tao..lalo na ang family ko na andun, mga anak ko..naitawag ko na nga po ito sa Geo mines & sciences to file a complaint sa main if u wanna help me..pls kol or txt 09169215977…basic proof lang po is PICTURE and the SANGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN RESOLUTION kung tlgang permitted tlga cla…MAGKAISA PO TAU.BKA REGRET TAU IN THE END!!

    1. hello, shirley. Thanks for signifying your concerns and support on the issue. It is really very important for us to work hand-in-hand especially with people like you who will be directly affected by this magnetite mining. Our partner organization SAVE THE VALLEY- Cagayan chapter is the one that’s at the forefront of the struggle against this. Your message has already been forwarded to them and they will be in contact with you asap. Meanwhile, we can provide you with some materials that you may find useful. On the other hand, updates from people on the ground are very important for us, as seven towns would be affected by this project, and we cannot do it alone.

      Moreover, a similar operation in the Ilocos Region has started already. We have yet to verify if it’s under the same company, Colossal Mining Corporation, which holds a similar permit over the offshore areas from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur down to some parts of La Union.

      The people united will never be defeated!

  13. for shirley… hello there! this is our real name; save the valley serve the people alliance for the environment in cv. we are campaining on how to protect our natural resources in the valley. totoo, hindi lang sa lugar nyo sa abulug ang nakakaranas ng magnetite mining. nauna pa ang sanchez mira and infact lahat ng coastal municipalities natin sa cagayan ay mayroong application sa magnetite mining. ang mga may-ari ng mining companies dito sa atin ay puro mga dayuha subalit ang mmga nasa likod ng mga ito ay mga politiko ring nakaupo ngayon sa ating gobyerno.natutuwa kami na may isang cagayano na katulad mo ay nagpapahayag ng concern hinggil sa ating kalikasan. papaano ka ba namin makokontak? nasa mismong lugar ka ba ninyo sa abulug? please send us more info paano tayo magtutulungan sa kampanyang ito upang makapagtulungan. thanks.

  14. To my fellow Abuluguenos,
    Wake up and take actions. Be responsible for your future. We have been under the clout of Lakay and JPEfor decades now. Have we prospered at all since they occupied all the vital positions in the town and province? Or are they the only ones who benefited from our apathy? Sad to say but we have become the laughingstock of the region. As the other towns have aggressively fought for their rights, we just sat on the fence, watching Them trample our beloved town. Are we the most stupid generetion of Abuluguenos ever?

  15. Hindi daw part ng shoreline yung ginagamit sa mining according to your governor… hehehe… magkano kaya?????? 🙂 sorry sa grammar…

  16. im also concerned about our natural resources.. agree ako na walang magandang effect yang magnetite mining na yan.. of course meron, dun sa mga magbebenefit, but how about naman ung ordinaryong tao?? they will only suffer for the possible negative effects nean someday kung patuloy pa rin ito at hndi mapipigilan.. live a simple life kc.. buti sana kung ang gnagawa nlang yan ay walang disadvantage.. let us be united, upang hindi magpatuloy ang pang aabuso nla,. tnx.. thats all.

  17. Hi kaduami, i’m from botolan, zambales. I’m not so sure if you have known the flash flood in our town which was due to the damaged dyke (bucao river). Before this, there were heavy equipments similar to what used in Cagayan’s magnetite mining which brought into our Bgy, (Bgy, San Juan) specificaly on the place of previous sugar refinery (“CARIBE”) . This area was covered by LAHAR (having a black sand from Mt. Pinatubo. Due to the recent damaged on the dyke waters flows in affecting the many barangays. Currently the dyke is being restored. We noticed, whenever these equipments are not running there is no water flowing to our bgy. but once it operates water aggresively flows to our place which is it will continous it will cause errosion. Our Local officals granted the permit on this mining co, which we believe from Taiwan. I don’t see any DENR permit posted on their gate. People of the bgy are not aware on what is the long term effect of the mining activities being held in Bgy San Juan, Botoal Zambales. I hope someone can visit this place to see and able to educate the people and if it is really a treat to the environmnet, it should be stop.

  18. I fully sympathized this struggle of the Cagayanons.

    Alexandra Mining & Oil Ventures are also in magnetite mining in two municipalities (Sta. Magdalena and Bulan) in Sorsogon. And in my town of Matnog, they have an iron ore project at this stage is destroying the pristine Matnog mountain ranges; pls view thi clip. and see for yourself the destruction of this supposedly small scale this early.

    video 1:

    video 2:

    video 3:

    1. Ramsor,
      Your comments and videos, ar meant to create problems. There is no such thing as small scale mining with magnetite. Magnetite is a low value mineral, and to be quite honest, it would take several thousand years to see even a small mark on the massive magnetite reserves available right across the Philippines. Magnetite, like iron ore must be mined in quantities of around 200,000t/month to break even. Managed well, it can be classed as safe, and zero effect on the environment. The small scratch on the area in the bush area is more than likely one of the local villagers trying to make a few dollars to feed his family. What the Governor was saying is correct and I would say he is well aware of the implications.

      You above attached videos are just for sensationalism. The reporters voices are brilliant, and not unlike someone giving a blow by blow at the latest cock fight !! BRILLIANT, but very.

      You like many of your fellow counrty men would love to see the Philippines sink, or be destroyed.
      I guess you are the type of person who would derive great pleasure from kicking a dog.

      The mining industry needs support, not meaningless bla bla by your type. Get on board and support your country, and be proud of it, not try to bring it to its knees.

      1. Mining needs support? this support is needed for them to continue amassing great wealth..isnt it? There are other sources of minerals in the world but not in Philippines! This country except perhaps very few others, is not suitable for this destructive industry. Places targetted for mining are mostly biodiversity areas.

        On the contrary…its these miners who will sink the country as a consequence of greed!

      2. Miners are not trying to sink YOUR COUNTRY, YOU ARE.

        talking environment is good for the country, but telling them to take their investment somewhere else is KILLING YOUR COUNTRY.

        Trying to kill your country is what I would call a type of SICKNESS, and total need to remove food from the table of the most needy.

        Go take a pill or kick a dog, and you will see how good it feels

  19. Hi,

    I’m a graduate school student and part of my assignment was to identify a natural resource that is currently facing concerns… Well, I live in Cagayan and most of the time in the news (TV Patrol Cagayan Valley) I hear the issue of the black sand mining… and this interests me. That’s why, when I got the assignment, this natural resource, black sand aka magnetite cross my mind. I would like to ask permission to use your reports in this website for my research, at the same time, could you give me other references to look into? Btw, is there also a black sand mining in Calayan? I was just there last week and had visited Sibang Cove, I notice the black color of sand in the beach, the consistency is like when you play sand with magnet, the sand becomes black, its looks like that. Is that also a black sand?

    1. hi, Ghie.
      Yes, you may use the material in your research, but please cite us properly. We may also have exchanges of info regarding the topic. The material is meant to be used for campaign and advocacy of the issue. We really aim that this issue be popularized. Just last weekend, magnetite or black sand mining was featured in Jessica Soho in GMA7.

      You may check the website of the Mines & Geosciences Bureau regarding the coverage of magnetite mining permit/s.

      we hope to keep in touch with you.

    2. Hi Ghie,

      You have entered a very sensitive area to do research on. This site is a good one, as it has a lot of negatives and some positives.
      Black sand (magnetite) is an abundant mineral of low value, unless it is mined in very large quantities. You are in a difficult spot to see what is true and what is total fabrication and scare mongering. the Phili[ppines is blessed with an abundance of minerals, and magnetite is everywhere. just walk out side your house after it rains and you will in most cases see a thin line of magnetite around puddles of water as it dries. the Philippines is a mountain of minerals, and this is most certainly the case with magnetite. One of the issues in the philippines is that people live in a domacracy, and there is very little employment. Filipino,s are extremey jealous of anyone making a better living than them, and will in a lot of rather see someone fail than be better off than them. When you do your study on minerals you will have to try hard to find what is in actual fact true. I wish you all the best with your study, and hope you can destinguish between the two. You must also remember that the church is also anti mining, and to a certain extent brain washes people into a anti mining mentality.
      Good luck in your quest to wade through the dirty water to find the truth. Just keep in mind this one thing. If the Philippines was to follow the rest of the civilised world and reap the rewards god has given them, it would be one of the richest countries on the face of the earth, and could accomplish this in a short time if jealousy was pushed to one side.

  20. i am a 5th year civil engineering student from bulacan state university, i want to know more about magnetite, as a material for my thesis this semester…and how to help the conservation of it.

    1. Dear Carlo,

      Read my above comments to Ghie first. CONSERVATION OF MAGNETITE ???This is one mineral that does not need conservation, It is so abundant that in some places it is more abundant than natural sand. You will notice a lot of beaches are not popular because of the grey water and brown beach sand. This problem is caused by Magnetite. Just visit the coast line in Zambalis, Iba and see for your self that the beaches are not very inviting.
      Enjoy your studies, but keep away from mining
      as it is a sin against the church, not the people.

      Get a job in Jollybee or Mc Donalds.

      Cheers, Garry.

  21. the Philippines’ population is mostly covered by poor, illl educated, and unethical individuals… sad to say but it is the fact that each one of us has to agree….the result is the eagerness of us Filipinos to climb up the ladder…to crave for more, for money, and power…
    unfortunately our dear Cagayan Valley is one of the directly affected areas in the island. I am from Namuac, Sanchez Mira… the above mentioned brgy. who have struggled towards this miners… and now, even if there is no mining going on in our community, the sand adjacent to our cemetery…(the site where they put up the mine last 2007)…is almost covering the cemetery.. i could still remember that there is this paper(attendance) they are passing asking the residents to sign… now look at what is going on in cagayan… pls add Anti black sand mining on facebook… you’ll see news’ regarding this…:(

  22. heya! readers,

    well,naiinis ako s ibang mga comments kasi parang dinadamay tayo na walang nagagawa pero gustong tumulong!
    “shame on you all” hmmph! so epal and some people well thinks things are always a joke!well perhaps that’s not important i just want to leave a comment..,well you see i’am still a first year student who just want to research on black mining operations for our debate event..,and want to search on the evidence,the effects,disadvantage and advantage of it and many more..,nung una is i don’t really care about this and just want to search and print but this event interested me and want to learn more about it!! i’ll just say that continue what is ryt for our town and watever disadvantage na alam niyong makakasira sa atin ay stop doing it na lang para hindi mangyari iyon that’s all!! and xori sa taglish languange at text languange hope u understand!!


  23. Hi everybody, open discussions like these are needed to arrive at a synthesis of the next better action, solution and alternative. One key however is open-mindedness and avoidance of bias. To me the points from the pros and antis and their extremes are all needed so we may arrive at the real purpose of discussion – finding ways to better the lives of people thru means that balance the need to sustain the environment. Everybody should agree first that mining is not evil per se. If this proposition is not acceptable, then there is no more need for further discussion as it forecloses further avenues. It is not consistent to open-mind requirement. So, if we agree that mining is not evil per se, we have to identify facts and reasons that make it good or bad.
    The core of the arguments of the antis is that mining does not benefit the people and destroys the environment. This argument is itself, the clue to its own solution. Can we not engage in mining so that its effects will both benefit the people and the environment? I believe we can. So why wont we focus our discussion on finding ways to mine responsibly by suggesting solutions to existing problems rather than just saying “NO” without giving better alternatives? What good does it do to convince the people to remain in the status quo without offering them hope and alternative to better their lives? We live in a material world. From grade 1, we learned that matter cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. If we do not transform then we resist change. If we resist change, then its an act of contradiction because we can never prevent change.
    I think, the next big question is to be addressed to the people. Do they desire to get better than their present state? Or do they rather pass away without further issue? Im sure the resounding answer is: CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. If somebody offers a way for us to change our lives for the better, then its meaningless and foolish to resist it out of fear. No one gains sweet success without overcoming risks. That is life.
    If our generation wont mine the magnetite sand today, one thing is certain as the sunrises, the next generation will. So lets do our share while we can. We are the NOW. Lets take the challenge. Lets find ways to do responsible mining NOW and change our lives for the BETTER.

    1. is it not sheer foolishness to risk when you know that ill effects are certain? Shall we first experienced bad consequences before we say No to Mining?

      Will any in his right mind risk losing the source of their clean water in exchange of the little and temporary benefits of mining? WE should note that water is most precious resources. Mining the capability of people to put up their own means of livelihood should be explored and pursued. Many countries like Japan, Singapore, etc. are not known as mining country yet it progressed.!

      1. You have a good point Ramon,

        Your coment is 100% correct. Water is the most important issue. There are so many unknowns with mining, and the long term effects of dangerous chemicals entering the food chain. Where there is some level of safety is. Most of the minerals mined such as chromite and magnetite in the Philippines are only mined to stage one. Stage one is still relativly safe as the actual end product is in most cases inert. But I do like your points, and such issues as settling ponds and control of the wash water must be taken into account at design stage, not a knee jerk reaction later down the processing stage. Even small scale mining has the potential to muddy the waters.
        The Philippines must move forward, but this must be acheived by taking care of the people and the environment. The Philippines has always been anti mining, and in some cases this has been some value, as lessons from far afield have been learned. It is now time to move ahead and follow strict rules, and let this beautiful country reap the rewards it so richly deserves.

    2. Greenlink.
      This is a very late reply to a well written and thought through comment. Brilliant work.
      I think that there is one thing that needs a lot of thought. Look at the environment around a area that has been ear marked to be mined/dredged.
      What is the mineral? what is required to mine/dredge ?
      Will have an effect on the water, air , health of the community as well as others down stream ?
      Will it effect crops? fish ? shell fish,? sea grasses ?
      Even noise has to some extent an effect on the lives it comes into contact with.
      If you cannot tick the boxes with a high level of confidance on all the above there are still questions before it is to late.
      In general most minerals such as chromite and magnetite that are both inert, and water is the processing medium only.
      These two minerals are people friendly and are probably the best ones that allow a family to make a reasonable living while protecting all around them.
      Both these minerals can be won with a shovel, pick and a pile of sand bags

  24. Good one, GREENLINK.

    Your comments just go to making this site a GOOD ONE.

    I really cannot add to much to what you have mentioned other than to say. You have a balanced pragmatic approach to what is holding back the Philippines and its beautiful people.

    It is nice to see someone actually looking at the other side of the situation. A man cannot live on rice and fish alone.

    Mine and process carefully. It must be done by the people, and the returns to stay with the very people who actually own the land.
    Not the dirty ones hanging around the edges like wolves.

    I would guess a lot of the so called environmentalists will probably leave this wonderful open site and move on to easier pickings, as they do not like to see what is fact, and what is fiction.

    Up the Philippines people. It is your land, your choice to fish, to farm, to mine, to process, to export, and move your family and country a bit closer to be what it can be if managed properly.

  25. You might wanna check this out–

    Special Report: Dredging of Cagayan River, an ecological destruction cover-up—environmentalists

    MANILA, Sept. 22, 2010—Dredging of the Cagayan River is a cover-up to large-scale magnetite mining in the valley, a group of environmentalists who conducted a fact-finding mission in the river last September 17 and 18, said.

    The environmental investigation mission (EIM) covered the municipalities of Lallo, Aparri, Calamaniugan and Gonzaga, which are considered magnetite mining hotspots.

    While the Provincial Government of Cagayan denies report of Chinese mining companies operating in the area, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment national coordinator Clemente Bautista Jr. said in an e-mail that magnetite mining in the province is “a common knowledge among the Cagayanos.”

    “And they are operating for two years now,” Bautista told CBCPNews.

    The survey of the Rio Grande de Cagayan is a part of the environmental investigation mission organized by different non-governmental organizations and some members of the Roman Catholic church in Cagayan. The two-day mission aims to examine the alleged contamination of the waters of the longest river in the Philippines.

    According to reports, even the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao had been alarmed on the mining operations on the stretch of Cagayan river.

    The environmentalists, scientists and religious persons who have joined the EIM doubted the local government’s and the Chinese firms’ representatives’ alibi about the dredging of the Rio Grande de Cagayan.

    “They told the communities surrounding the river that the dredging project is for flood control and reduction of bank erosion and failures along the river. But, based on field information and testimonies gathered by the team, massive river bank erosion is occurring in the area and communities are experiencing higher incidence and intensity of flooding after the ‘dredging’ operation by the Chinese corporations,” said geologist and environmental expert Ric Saturay of the Center for Enviromental Concerns (CEC) Philippines.

    Saturay said the dredging operations of the companies tend to focus on extracting minerals in particular areas of the river rather than implementing proper river engineering and flood control principles.

    “Dredging, if not done properly, could worsen problems of flooding and bank failures,” the environmental scientist explained in his email.

    A large mine of magnetite

    Based on the survey conducted by the EIM, there are 13,843 hectares of land along the coastal areas of Cagayan, which are covered with magnetite mining permits. Despite the alibis, the residents suspect that private and foreign companies are also mining, but guised as river dredging operations, in the 16 kilometer stretch of the Cagayan River, says the report.

    “The black sand mining in the province of Cagayan will definitely bring havoc, not only to the unique marine and river ecosystems, but also to the livelihood and safety of communities particularly in the coastal areas. Numerous studies and documentations have already revealed that black sand mining in coastal areas have resulted to coastal erosion, inundation of communities, and degradation of marine ecosystem,” said Bautista.

    Bautista revealed that local residents of Lallo, Buguey, Calamanuigan, Dodan, Appari, Abulog, Ballesteros, Pamplona, and Sanchez Mira de Cagayan have already reported several negative impacts such as community displacement, receding coastline, reduction of fish catch, and decreasing productivity since magnetite mining operations started in Cagayan province in 2006. There are 156 representatives, most of them are barangay officials, in the said tows of Cagayan, were interviewed by the EIM crew.

    “There is a decline on fish and shellfish supply in Cagayan river that has been reported. We believe, the dredging operations have something to do with this,” Saturay said.

    Moreover, said Saturay, the magnetite mining operation within the river basin can directly affect the river ecosystem thus, causing massive siltation, destruction of fish breeding grounds, and disruption of habitat of freshwater species in the river.

    The geologist also said that on the onslaught of typhoon “Pepeng” (international name Ketsana) last year, there are 180 houses were swept away in Aparri and Calamaniugan because of strong current along the areas where the Chinese ‘river dredging’ is located.

    Illegal shipment of magnetite seized

    Based on news reports, early this year North Korean vessel MV Nam Yang 8 a 3,400-ton vessel manned by 22 Korean crew, was apprehended and investigated for carrying 2,800 metric ton (MT) of magnetite sands said to have been extracted in Cagayan province.

    On July 2010, six Chinese employees were arrested for allegedly engaging in the illegal blacksand mining in Lallo, Cagayan province. The local authorities also apprehended the Hay Lon 69, owned by the said Chinese miners containing some 100 cubic meters of magnetite ore and undisclosed amounts of unprocessed black sand.

    The EIM was spearheaded by the CEC-Phils., Kalikasan-PNE, and the Taripnong or Association of Cagayan Valley Regional Advocates, and was participated by members of the Defend Patrimony! Alliance, PAMALAKAYA, Samahan ng Maralitang Mangingisda, Batanga-Calayan Laban ti Minas, local anti-mining network BACALEM, BAYAN Cagayan Valley, and KAGIMUNGA. (Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews)

    1. Come on Kaduami,
      You above all, usually write a reasonable true account of the actual truth. This is your page, and I guess you are entitled to use it as you see fit. Play the game wrong and this page will shut down quickly, or wander off into a black hole, that is not worth opening.
      I will not go on and on, but watch to see if the site moves back to reality.
      100t/magnetite= $US 4000. Precessed.
      100t/magnetite =$US 800 . Unprocessed.

      There is NO RIVER, It is a flat area of larva that a plane could land on..

      Kuarma, there are honest sites out there, and at this stage I still consider your site as being reasonably PLUS MINUS, and able to see the trees from the forrest.

      For me it is very easy to hit delete, or remove your site from my favourites. Remember , PEOPLE come before FROGS, and FLOWERS, and BUTTERFLY. I would rather put a bowl of rice in front of a child than a flower for a butterfly, A fly for frog,

      Cheers, gary.
      Kick the Chinese out and turn the river into an international airport

      1. but can we put a price tag or rather a dollar value on ill effects of quarrying magnetite sands on the environment?

      2. Well done, Kaduami.

        Time for me to call it quits. Good luck to you and your friends in general life, but really hope and pray that people have the sensibility to see through the smoke and mirrors, and move the beautiful Philippines forward, and out of its crippling poverty.

        Stick wiwsh the bishops and priests as they are all born envir0onmentalists, geologists, scientists who are doing gods work to have the people serve them only, NOT THE COUNTRY.
        Best regards. Gary.

        Please do not reply as I will now shut all communication with this site.

    2. Wow, quite a long bla bla by the church. Please do not include the church as it has only one view, and will never talk anything that may pull the people away from their grip, and holding them in a constant limbo of poverty, and a life of servitude to the local bishop.
      People need to take the dark glasses off and see that there is a life outside slavery to a system.
      The people deserve to reap the benifits of the country, not the church and evil polititions.
      Thank god the new President is not being pulled down by the church and looks to be a man of the people, who he should be as NUMBER 1 of that beautiful country.
      God bless. G.

    3. I have just received some positive news from the Abulug area. My spies have informed me of the following. There is a Chinese mining company with 2 dredgers set up in the river and a processing plant around 85% complete. Bad News ?? No, GOOD NEWS. Your local government has backed them in their operation, and have signed off as a done deal to commence full on dredging operations. I am a strong protector of the environment, the people, the food chain, the water quality, and at the same time a strong advocate for mining..You government has pulled off a win win situation, and should be congratulated. The Chinese dredging company as part of their conditions must remove the sand as well as the magnetite. What this means is that the dredgers actually do help to deepen the river ,and by total extraction, they leave no dust plume in the river. Generally cutter suction dredgers pump up the sand, extract the minerals and eject the sand over the rear of the dredger. This type of operation is very profitable and easy to operate, but is extremely damaging to the surrounding area, and especially shell fish..Lets see more government reps in other provinces get on board and enforce these conditions so as to protect their people and environment. Once more, congratulations to the local government guys in the Aparri, Abulug area. Well done, and god bless.
      While quite a few of the readers will not fully comprehend the difference in the operation of the dredgers, this is a rather large win. This should be the test case for all dredging operations in future across the entire Philippines. Hopefully this is bought into law where dredging companies are required to remove all materials OFF SITE as part of their contractural conditions

    4. The 100 ton of magnetite you mention is valued at $1058.00. You need to do a bit of research. $1,058 would not pay for the ships fuel for 1.2 days.
      1 ton of unprocessed magnetite sand would be valued at around 0.23c at best, going on todays market prices..

  26. May I suggest an exchange of information on magnetite sand mining, without reference as to who owns the area.

    Will said mining operation cause floods? What are the ill effects of mining?

    I agree with greenlink. There is a resource, there is a demand and a chance for everyone, the barangay, the municipal, the provincial government.

    To keep the resource buried in the sand is a sin, if there is poverty.

  27. Mye, In namuac, the sand has slowly covered half of the cemetery. The paper everyone wants to sign I guess was against mining the sand. Good bye cemetery.
    shayne? what are the possible negative effects of mining? If you are not sure or do not know, why be against or be for mining?

    Ramon Garra oct 6. This country (philippines )is not suitable for this destructive industry! This country is blessed with billions of dollars worth of minerals, all God given! ”

    Mining targets biodiversity areas” Why?

    1. It so happened that most of those minerals for their extraction are found in heavily forested areas among other sensitive areas as near bodies of water, etc., and it’s understandably considering that we are a tropical country.

      1. Hi Ramon,
        Dont know if it is your way of NOT SAYING MAGNETITE ?? The minerals you are talking about in the mountain areas are Nickel, Iron ore, Gold, and certainly NOT MAGNETITE. Magnetite occurs along rivers, river flats and beach fronts. The areas you can find magnetite are usually covered with minimal weed groth as magnetite overlay does not support vegitation. Rice crops and vegetable gardens cannot be planted in these areas along the rivers.
        I think anyone who comes on to this blog from now on should state clearly what mineral they are discussing so as to not confuse the blog and its readers.,

        It is very clear that such minerals as, gold-nickel-iron ore operations are very destructive in most cases because of the areas they open up to very high run-off of mud and debris during rain periods.
        I am certainly behind bad mining practices, but minerals such as magnetite mainly occur in poor soil areas.

    2. Only the church could answer this one, as it certainly has zero effect on anything I am aware of.

      You have three sentences in total, so the church can just say “NO 3 TIMES and feel good”.

      God bless. G.

  28. Magnetite sand mining flourished in1967 to 1976 from Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur and La Union areas by Filmag.

    Was there flooding? None

    The Municipal government will show you income derived from mining and lost when mining stopped. The previous mining areas, which were barren, were covered with soil by Filmag, and are now corn fields. Visit the area Kaduami.

    1. Well said, but you are in a site that is totally negative and will not listen to anyone who is interested in lifting the quality of life for the Philippines people.

      I said I would not be drawn on future comments from this site.

      What you have to read into this site is that it does not need to justify why it is anti mining. IT JUST IS.

      it has the backing of the church, who are afraid of the people living a better life. The church has followed this system since time began. remember a subordinate begger will follow you to the grave if you are holding the bag of rice with a small promise of a handful from time to time. Give him a dollar and a bag of rice, and he becomes independant, and time to think, not grovel from day to day.

      There is no flooding, there is no errosion, there is only a show of the hate that the Filipino has in seeing his neighbour have a bigger bowl of rice.

      Mining can bring the Philippines to what it should and can be in a short time if we all pull together and see the benifits it will trickle down to the comunity and the country as a whole. his will only get better as time goes by.
      One of the sad things I see is the frustration and uncomprimising attitude of the so called do gooders, and the frustration being taken out with the gun as the only way forward in what can be considered as totally impossible to deal with THESE PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE A LONG HARD LOOK AT THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY THEY ARE BLESSED TO LIVE IN , AND GIVE IT THE SUPPORT TO GROW FOR ALL CONCERNED. EVEN THE HUNGRY POLITITIONS.

      1. I hope Gary Wald here would not misunderstood my opinion. If i am against mining its because the forested upland area and a watershed at that of my hometown is now a host of iron ore mining.approved by our provincial governor, He peddles economic benefit for our 4th class town with “responsible mining” to boot his justification. But who are really this “outsiders” who will materiallly benefit of this in exchange of destruction of land. This land is not a barrenfield by the way. Anyone in his right mind would not exchange his source of water and nature protection to this iron ore extraction.
        Am not against mining altogether…but lets mine in area where the impact is lesser ..the world is not in shortage of iron ore …if ever Saudi Arabia which is a vast desert land still could be an ideal site for iron materials if the world is really in great need of it.

    2. thanks for sharing Mica…if your account is true and have good conrcrete results then it just shows that mining is NOT totally bad. Mining should be allowed on a case to case basis and strictly following the Mining Law requirements not only on paper requirement but on actual work application.

      BUT Mining should be a no-no on biodiversity areas, geohazard areas, among others that will compromise the environment integrity like in my hometown Matnog. Even MGB admits the long years a place ravaged by mining to be rehabilitated..and some of it are irrestorable.

      By the way, why was the mining stopped in the place you mentioned. Was it depleted already? Good for them at least the former mine area has became productive. Kudos to them.

  29. Mining our resources is definitely something we need to do to improve our lot. The big question here is how we can do it in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. And together, I think we can find a way. I can presume that the technocrats already know how to go about this. What I am not confident about is, will the benefits reach the ordinary Filipinos especially those living in the affected areas. I think not until we reasonably eliminate corruption in the Philippines. And for this reason, I think all mining should be suspended. Their illegal and clandestine mining tactics employed at present is proof that a lot of money is getting into the wrong pockets. I hope we stop debating about whether the minerals should be mined or not. Hands down the answer is yes. What we should focus on is how we can assure that the positives of such actions will far outweigh the negatives. Definitely, no mining must be done without consultation and approval from the communities directly affected. Though I am in favor of mining, I am not in favor of doing it against the people’s will. To the people in the affected areas, this is an issue worth dying for. You will die a slow death if you dont fight for your rights. Might as well fight, who knows you might even win. But please, be sensible. Use your minds and be flexible and practical. You can’t beat the tactics of money oriented businessmen using dramatics and emotions.

  30. The oldest comment I saw here was made May,2008 and this issue is still very hot . I tried to search this topic because of a comment a saw posted just a day ago in Pres. Noynoy’s official site. This is the 1st time I chance upon this site and I apologize beforehand for any irrelevant or ridiculous comment I might make. In fairness to Gary Wald, I find his comments very sensible, well founded, very honest and with good intent. He certainly knows what he is talking about and I personally agree with most of what he has to say. But what I think Gary may not be aware of are the underlying reasons why most of the locals are seemingly against mining per se. The main underlying reason here I think is simply because the people are not directly gaining anything from it. The government may be getting revenues, businessmen reaping profits and politicians getting kickbacks but practically nothing reaches the ordinary people specially in the directly affected areas. And that is reason enough for me to be in favor of the total suspension of mining in those areas. So Gary, if ever you are representing or is connected with the foreign mining entities involved here, the problem is not coming from your side. The main financial support for these operations come from the foreign partners. So if you have a way to get thru them, please tell them to try a moral or humanitarian approach, not the typical businessmen’s tactics. Tell them to stop colluding with corrupt officials and businessmen. Satisfy the ordinary people’s demands and things might get better. Until that happens, I hope the people in the directly affected areas will continue their vigilance.

    1. Well put Noel, and reads well. I am not in mining,but my family have been for the past 100 years or so.This sadly ended when my grand father passed away.
      I do have a very strong interest in mining as it is like gambling I guess. You never know what god has placed under the next rock you turn over. Mining by one man or a massive mining company can help a person, family or country to lift its level of living. I am well aware of the terrible high rate of corruption in the Philippines, and to be quite honest it is a way of life now for many in your beautiful country. SAD. The cost to construct 1 mile of road in your country is 2.5 times it is in the US and Australia, and I guess you do not need me to tell you where it goes. There is no damage being done to your country by mining, IT IS BEING DONE BY NOT MINING.
      They go on about PEOPLE protesting. Next time you see a protest about mining on TV, have a look at the faces, and try to see outside the camera angle. The people can mean a few dozen out of big city carefully arranged in the width of a camera lense. Media news selling crap. The faces on the protestors are hungry misfits in a lot of cases, not what you would term normal country folk.

      I read a lot about mining and have a lot of friends in the business. You read a mining news article and you may find one or two Philippines mining companies in 100. The Philippines is classed as the second most mineralised country on the face of the earth. And has the distinction of being one of the poorest countries in asia. SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG SOMEWHERE.

  31. A lot of well placed people and groups are monitoring this site. So far, most of the comments Ive seen doesnt seem to have any malicious or selfish intent. I see great hope in the current administration and I think, now more than ever we really have a chance to get things right. I hope everyone will take a step back and set aside personal agendas and work together to get something positive and concrete out of these discussions. I suggest to the prime movers of this movement to rethink their stand. They must be more flexible and practical without compromising the primary goal of putting forward the benefit of the locals first. Dont let corruption creep into the negotiations. But continue the vigilance, for without it, you will have no bargaining power and will only be ignored. This can be a win-win situation for all concerned if only everyone can come to an agreement.


    1. Well said Paul.

      Rationality is the key word. The indiginious people one is one used till it has no meaning. The church uses it along with the tree huggers, as their line of defence, and justification. The local indiginious people must be protected at all cost, as their lives are very precarious, and hand to mouth most days at best. You can be assured in 95% of all cases their names are mentioned they have absolute zero what is actually being said.
      Where we all fall down isn trying to reach a decission that is of benifit to both the people and country as a whole. Yes, there are dirty people out there who would sell their own mother. We must find a line where it will work. One way or another mining will take place, as it does all around the world, as it adds valuable riches to the country and people. Where we go from here I trully dont know.

  33. please help us with our fight against blacksand mining here in BUGUEY, cagayan. we really need your help ryt now. u may contact me at number 09089947784

  34. The discussions here are indeed enlightening. I am a member of the newly organized group SASEC in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and we are really exerting our efforts to protect the environment through IEC. Speaking of magnetite mining which at first was in a pretense of dredging the Cagayan River, one effect I personally observed is the disappearance of the edible shell (unnok) which were abundantly sold in Dugo before the dredging but now, I couldn’t find one selling such shell.

    1. Hi Wilhelmina,
      I guess you have read most of my entries to this site. Your comments are what adds value to this site, as they are a true reflection of the facts. Both MAGNETITE and CHROMITE are inert minerals, but dredging of rivers will kill off all shell fish in a very short time. Magnetite has no poison or dangerous chemical composition, and the same with Chromite.
      This KILL is not poison, it is the heavy silt cover, and under water dust plumes that takes away the capacity of the shell fish to breath or feed. Rivers are especially vulnerable as there is a high mud content when disturbed. This mud comes from the run-off from the land. This is a normal phenominum, and settles on the river bed and helps feed the fish including shell fish. As the shell fish cannot escape they die where the lay. In principle shell fish can survive a few months of the wet season run-off, but not ongoing dredging operations. If the river is being dredged at some point, there should still be shell fish found above the dredgng operations, if the river is not to swift.

      God bless, G.

    2. Hi Wilhelmina. I come from a family who had been in mining till my granfather passed way. I personally have no mining links either in the Philippines or elsewhere, but it remains in my blood. I am very PRO-MINING in the Philippines as I know just what it would mean to the Philippines as a whole. If you spend a bit of time to also read about the OFF-SHORE mining in Cagayan. It is nothing more than stupid writing stupid. It goes on about flooding, and damage that lets the water flood the low land farms, and basically bla bla bla.
      I am totally against OFF-SHORE mining for the CORRECT reason. OFF-SHORE DREDGING,mining kills coral, fish, shell fish, breeding grounds. This is linked to your thoughts and reason as to why there are NO SHELL FISH. OFF-SHORE mining has a problem as it processes and DUMPS the waste directly back into the sea and creates a massive dust plume that kills coral for miles around. This dust plume has the potential to travel 10 to 20 km with the prevailing tides.NO CORAL-NO FISH, NO FOOD.
      God bless, G.

  35. i think kaduami’s stand is based on the context that a mining law here in the philippines is not actually serving the interests of its own people, rather the ones that most benefit from it are the mining TNCs. Minerals are being transported outside our country. It is not really us that benefit from it because we do not have our own industry that will process and make use of it. what’s left of the people then? If foreign mining companies are the ones extracting our resources, we can not hope that they will give enough concern for it as they would not be the ones that will be directly affected by whatever adverse impacts the operations would cause our environment. They could just easily transfer to other countries with similar resources, leaving us with only environmental destruction and devastation.

    as i was reading the excerpt of the paper, it was a policy research. I think they are not at all against mining. They are against the mining law (and i read it, search RA 7942) and the processes that are very accommodating to the companies, yet gives very little voice to the people. It proposes that a new mining law be passed– probably with strong protectionist content from the abuses of foreign mining companies, and a development that is people-centered.

    So given the present context, i support the struggles of the people against magnetite mining.

    1. Hi Mae,
      Your commets have a lot of credability, and are what I would consider to be reasonable. I guess you are well aware that the Philippines is judged to be the second most mineralised country on earth. The Philippines is not being abused from outside !! It is being abused from within. The minerals industry in the Philippines is so small it does not register in any mining journals around the world, and sadly the church along with many more want to keep the people, and the country on their knees, as a begger country for ever.
      You mention that the country is not processing, just selling its riches without processing. TRUE.
      Minerals such as MAGNETITE and CHROMITE can be processed to level 1 very cheaply and increase the export value per shipment by around 400% for Magnetite, and 1100% for CHROMITE. To set up a plant to process either costs around $700,000, and operate for a period till the plant is fully productive. Both Chromite and Magnetite are totally inert and have no polution flow or use of chemicals in the processing system. Just one shipment can pay for a reasonable size environmentally compliant plant by a factor of 3 times. This plant would be 100% safe and have zero effect on the health or welbeing of the land and country. People are to afraid to construct a processing plant in the Philippines as the local government and army would march in and take it over when it was in full production as has been the case in Masinloc. A reasonable size plant offers employment to a minimum of 42 people, and offers support for 300, including the local economy
      Thats life, I guess, and the bowl of rice and occassional fish dish will just have to remain the same for years to come.
      God bless, G.

  36. I think we should drop discussing technical matters in here and leave it to the experts. Assuming these scientists are not in the payola of people with vested interests, Im sure they can find a way to do RESPONSIBLE MINING. And responsible mining techniques should satisfy the minds of those against if they have good intentions. The first obstacle we have to go thru is corruption. Once this matter is out of the way, we will see how easy it easy to solve the problems, political ,tachnical or otherwise. People will always go against mining until they see and feel the benefits reaching them. Mining has been going on in the Philippines for a long time and the people did not feel they benefited from it, hence their negative reaction towards it. This problem is bigger than the debate over whether to mine or not to mine. Let us all work together to clean up this primary obstacle (endemic corruption and culture of greed) that is stopping us from moving forward. This may sound extreme, but if the NPA still has a bit of firepower left in them, I hope they will start assasinating all the corrupt politicians and their private sector cohorts. They are easy to spot. That is on the assumption that the NPA’s goal is truly for the good of the masses.

  37. Gary Walsh is the stereotypical WHITE TRASH NAZI IMPERIALIST, who thinks it’s the DIVINE RIGHT and MANIFEST DESTINY of the ARYAN MASTER RACE to plunder and pillage the planet, all else be damned to hell. HIs biased and bigoted opinions have less than zero value, in fact NEGATIVE value, to ALL TRUE FILIPINOS. Do not be fooled by this ADOLF HITLER. If Foreigners are so obsessed with mining, THEY SHOULD MINE IN THEIR OWN NATIVE COUNTRIES, NOT IN OUR PHILIPPINE HOMELANDS, NEVER IN OUR PHILIPPINE HOMELANDS. The Avatar movie was right, we should fight, to the death if need be, to protect and preserve the precious property of what is most rightfully ours, ALL OURS AND OURS ALONE. Mga Kababayan Ko, huway niyong hayaan manakaw at maagaw ng mga dayuhang banyaga ang karapat-dapat na sariling atin mang lang. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO THEM TO DISPOSSESS US OF OUR POSSESSIONS, FIGHT TO THE DEATH. REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NATIVE AMERICANS, THE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS, THE BLACK AFRICANS, THE PALESTINIANS! THE WHITE MAN MADE THEM REFUGEES IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES, AND NOW THE YELLOW DEVILS (i.e. Chinese and Koreans) ARE DOING THE SAME THING. LET US NOT LET, NEVER LET THE SAME THING HAPPEN TO US EVER AGAIN. Remember about Foreigners, They are most ready, willing, and able to KILL US ALL for the sake of money, We, FILIPINOS, should be ready to DO THE SAME for the sake of our posterity. DO YOU WANT TO BE SLAVES IN YOUR COUNTRY?!

    1. How in hell did this clown (ET) get past the sensor ?? Please send him back to the planet he came from.

    2. Hey Philippines Patriot,

      Next time you go out to buy or sell them funny pills you are on. Get me a packet too please. Dont get the real strong ones like you are taking, as I want to be able to think straight and write interesting things in this blog.. I almost forgot !! Grab me a couple of swatikas while you are buying the funny pills,

      Love ya work, beautifullly written and presented.

  38. Hi KADUAMI! I happened to read your blog & i hope you could help us too here in Aparri, Cagayan because we’re really suffering about this mining in our area. Many are complaining about it due to the harm we may suffer in the future but we don’t know whom we could ask for help because maybe even the officials are part of it. I’m afraid if this will continue to operate maybe APARRI would vanish in d map. In a way, they helped some of the residents here by accomodating them in their operation but I don’t think it would suffice the danger it could give us. Thank You & more power!

    1. hi cherry, we’ve been there for the research on offshore mining or blacksand mining… we attended also the march rally there in Aparri. We concerned citizens should help each other to stop the activity in your place… thank you for your writing us… hope that the LGU of Aparri will change their mind and they will act or do something to stop the illegal activity in Aparri and other municipalities in CAgayan and the whole Philippines…

  39. Shirley-ipagpatuloy mo ang iyong pinaglalaban at tibayan mo pa ang iyong loob. Sana ay dumami pa ang tulad mo na nagmamalasakit sa bayan. I wish you luck and more power.

  40. What is wrong in our country is that we tend to abuse everything within our reach. True, the Philippines is blessed not only in natural resources but also in human resources. If we only start to love our country, have an open mind, and act responsibly in anything we do, we can regain our lost glory as the leading country in Asia next to Japan in the early 60s. With responsible mining, our country will become richer. With irresponsible mining, we’ll be facing great environmental risk.

    1. Suehpro. Your comment is very accurate and elegant in its presentation and meaning. I have said what you have mentioned in many entries to this blog. One of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful place on earth,is, being ripped, pulled, and gutted by its very own selfish people . I really wonder if this wonderful country can ever return to its former wealth and stability. It was once a very prosporous contry that the poeple pulled together to make it great. Now they are hell bent on making sure the country and their next door neighbour has not one grain of rice more than them.
      Yes, the church wants the people to be poor so they obey, The polititions are ripping the guts out of the country. The people will eventually benifit as the wealth spreads outwards.
      Sue. Your comments show a pragmatic love for your country, but try to get others as well to love it as you do !!!!!

  41. Mr. Ramgarra
    I know what happened to your hometown is sad and it’s undeniable that what happened there was trigerred by mining operations in Sorsogon. But let’s go back to your argument. Mining is not the only choice to moved up from being a poor Country. What else these other OPTIONS then?? Our economy right now embraced mining and it’s also obvious that families have benefited from these operations. Parents were able to send their children to school, etc…(Really a lot of benefits..)But did our country became rich? No still, But it’s progressing. In other words, if we will take a very essential income source of our economy then we’re definitely gonna dive right straight to “poverty” for sure.

    And to the main argument, NO TO MINING! Let me ask those all anti-mining. Have you tried walking on streets wearing a product that doesn’t come from mining? Your lovely dress were made fine by machines. AWKIE . Again MACHINES! My point is , every one of you is blaming MINING yet you all use all luxuries that is obviously a product of the industry that you criticized so much! Look at yourselves, When you used your phone and call your love ones did ya think about the area that was destroyed where that piece of metal came from? No! right ?

    The good side of mining isn’t just limited to jobs and sending students to school or having a rice on our tables but it’s what supporting every industry to exist. It’s the backbone of all industries. Fertilizers in agriculture, cosmetics, hardwares for construction, etc..

    I know that if Philippines stop mining operation, other countries won’t .But don’t ya think accidents and Calamities also happen in other countries? If you keep using gadgets and things from mining industry when our country is letting other countries face this unwanted accidents and Calamities just to produce raw material for us then , what do you call it? Coward or selfish or both?

    As the other blogger has stated, we can never stop Progress.’ Future generation will suffer? My ass’. What we can do is to make a better world for the future generation and “Better future”is dependent in our standards. Everything’s changing for the better and if you think what’s better is to laylow and get left behind to preserve the resources, then at least be ashamed to use the computer, leave inside a cave, don’t use kitchen wares from mining, no phone, no fan, no aircon , no transportation etc.. Go back to primitive times dude. In short, be miserable.

    And My entire point is this“ Mining is just like any other business. It needs consumers. Then, if you want it to stop ? Then get the “Consumer Part” and it will definitely go down. So let have a game, who wants to start not buying essential things for their family huh? Can you initiate Mr. Ramgarra?

    And to Philippine Patriot:
    It’s acceptable that you don’t want other countries to mine our resources but do not also buy things that are made by THEM.kahit na binibenta lang naman nila sa atin na ready to use na yung RAW materials natin. MAtakot kana dahil halos lahat ay made in CHINA. Acting Innocent! Baka yang Metal sa phone mo ay galling yan sa lugar kung saan maraming namatay dahil sa MINA. ITapon mo Yan! Itapon mo lahat!

    At Masyado kang Bayolente! Sa tingin mo sa “Ready to fight” na sinabi mo sa tingin mo walang mamatay. So far, Malaya naman kami sa probinsya namin at walang dayuhang nag uutos.

    BAsta AKO, Go MR. GARY WALD. Let us go for responsible mining.

    1. Well put Winona. it is difficult to make a point with some people that is true and factural. They just dont want to know, and their main task is to rip the heart out of the Philippines and throw it in the dust. Their reasons are unknown, and I for one cannot see why they have such a hatred for their country and its people. They may just be BLOGGERS who enjoy writting crazy stupid meaningless drivel. If this is the case, it is harmless childish crap.
      The sad part is the church is also dedicated to keep the people very poor so they will continue to obey like obedient puppy dogs. Thank god the president can see through a lot of the garbage that is put on paper, and is sticking to his guns and has the People and the betterment of the country as a number one priority. Of course he is being ridiculed by the church and its blind sheep..


    Avatar was a different world . It was a Science fiction, It was made to let other humans realized how glutton the human race is. The human race that includes you. If you see it that way then let me ask you, do we have the capability to harness our resources to its full potential? the answer is “Definitely not to it’s full potential”. There is a narrow difference that separates this real story from that avatar movie, you know. If you hadn’t notice,all useful things we have are made mostly by other countries. Aren’t you happy using them? Aren’t these the raw materials that we sold to them?(The humans in the Avatar movie did not came close to giving anything back to the natives).

    I believe that if you want change then start it in your self. Don’t just bark there like a dog inside the fence because it’s not gonna change anything. Take my challenge to delete the ” consumer thing ” from the mining industry and you will definitely win. And at the same time, you will hopefully realize that you can’t do it. YOU CAN’T DO IT BECAUSE YOU, YOURSELF HAS UNCONSCIOUSLY EMBRACED MINING BUY BUYING IT’S FINISHED PRODUCT. YOU’re an accomplice and you don’t know it. So please try posting another anti-mining propaganda after you’ve confirmed to yourself that you are innocent!

    1. NO TO MINING movement is a lost cause. Mining should not be the issue at all.. The issue is how to make mining sustainable and the benefits going to the people and not the corrupt few or opportunist business men. I also wish that we try not to sell to China in protest of their bullying on us grabbing some of our islands. Im sure there are other good buyers out there. These protesters must concentrate their efforts on how to eliminate the corrupt politicians and the businessmen who feeds them. Whether they help the NPA kill them all or feed them to the dogs, I dont care. Anti- mining groups should instead focus on how to get maximum benefits from mining. If only they will do so, then the 2 opposing sides here will be united. Can you imagine how powerful we can be with unity.

  43. Dear Philippine PATRIDIOT. You are using a computer thanks to the mining industry. UNDERSTAND ???
    I do enjoy breaking away from the serious side of life and having a read of your idiotic ramblings. Please keep sending your dream time stories as most of the serious readers must get a kick out of your lunatic dreams just as I do.
    before I forget, dont forget to keep taking the medication, as it surely helps you to write stories associated with fairyland.
    hope to hear from you soon. Go getum loono

  44. Dear Kaduami,
    Please do not mark PHILIPPINE PATRIOTIC as INAPPROPRIATE as it is good reading, and does help to make the day a bit better. I also hope other readers get a kick out of his lunatic ramblings.

  45. I tend not to leave many responses, however after reading through a few of the remarks on Magnetite Mining in the Offshore Areas of Cagayan* Kaduamis Weblog.
    I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it just
    me or does it seem like a few of the remarks come across like they are coming from brain
    dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at other online social sites, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of all your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

      1. Hi Kaduami. Things have gone quite on this site. Common all you guys, either pro or anti. Dont let this site fade away. Kaduami is a way of letting everyone involved in protecting rhe environment, the people, and keeping a sharp eye on the evil side of activities in the Philippines.. Dont let this valuable site die.

    1. Black sand mining is extraction of magnetite (or the black part of the sand) from ordinary sand for iron ore and other uses like for making steel. Magnetite after processing is light weight so it is now used in the aero industry to make light weight materials that do not rust for airplanes, rockets, etc. It is also used in the computer industry.

      1. The answer maybe a little off the mark
        Magnetite is mainly used as an addative (feed stock) to increase the quality of steal and of course many other uses.
        The one you may be refering to is CHROMITE as it is used as an addative to iron ore to make stainless steal which is used heavily in rockets and the aero industry.
        One of the major uses for magnetite is for counterweights, as well as stabilizers in common washing machines because of its weight , cheapness, and abundance in nature. There are far to many uses to mention here.
        Australia is very rapidly moving to become the largest magnetite producer as hemetite quality starts to drop . The Philippines has one of the largest and easiest aluvial magnetite areas in the world, but will never really come to much as corruption and people not wanting to see their country advance will always stop it advancing. This is good for other mineral exporting countries? as the Philippines could produce and export at around 35% less than other mineral exporting countries.

  46. Have you people actually been to Ballesteros Cagayan? I have ancestral roots there and just came back from the trip this morning. My relatives told me there was a ship that docked there couple of years ago on the guise that their engine was broken but lo and behold! They STOLE more or less 250 meters of kilometers of SHORELINE! They raped my mother’s hometown. Now no children could play on the seashore because the ocean steeps down on the mark where they dredged the sand. Huge ocean waves can easily drown.

    1. Thank you for your comment. This is the problem we have with magnetite mining. Local officials seem to approve or are complicit with the mining operations on beaches and shorelines or in rivers. Ballesteros had opposed black sand mining earlier as far as we know. Aparri, Buguey, Gonzaga’s beaches have all been mined for black sand and up to now the company HaoRen has equipment in Aparri.

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