KADUAMI joined the ocular inspection on the magnetite mining sites of Gonzaga, Cagayan last January 2012. This coincided with the Conference of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum and the Archdioces of Tuguegarao. Around 50 priests, sisters, pastors, lay people joined in the reflection and sharing session that was held to reflect on the groans of Creation and the cries of the people of Cagayan to protect their land from further plunder by foreign mining interests.
The Bishops and ministers of the flock saw for themselves two mining companies mining black sand on the beaches of Gonzaga, Cagayan. They saw the mountains of black sand piled up waiting to be shipped abroad for foreign companies. They saw the destruction of the land and the disregard for the preservation and protection of the environment.
This area had been bulldozed to get the sand just beside the sea. The beach used to break huge waves from invading and flooding the town. Now it is a wasteland. Operations for the day were cancelled in time for the visit (presumably to hide the tonsful of sand being loaded to big dump trucks for shipment at Sta Ana port Irene.
The two Chinese mining companies were apparently getting their equipment from one company “Shenlong” since these were the markings on the trucks and backhoes they use. We could not get any response from the Taiwanese engineer since he can hardly speak English.
The companies used small scale mining or local permits but their operations were big and are run 24 hours a day with three shifts of workers doing the job. The people complain they could hardly sleep since the noise and rolling trucks keep them awake all day and night.
– Posted by Mary Lou Marigza with Nap Sangawan, Jr