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Black Tuesday Rally

An approximate of 10,000 students from Aquinas University of Legazpi and from Catholic Educational Association of Legazpi (CEAL), Bicol University, progressive organizations, environmentalists, and residents from Rapu-Rapu, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte held the grand rally to condone and stop the operation of Lafayette mining in Rapu-Rapu.

The groups think that mining in the area is not feasible due to the following reasons:

  • island's small size;
  • (2) sleep slopes of its hills thus any poisonous spill will immediately contaminate the creeks and the seas;
  • (3) heavy rainfall in our area (8-12 inches monthly average from July to December) which will easily fill up any tailings pond; and
  • (4) presence of heavy metals in the rocks of Rapu-Rapu which will pollute the creeks and seas once they are disturbed by mining.

No technology today can surmount these technical obstacles. Lafayette's use of the open pit method and cyanide will be aggravated by these and therefore not in accord with the standards of responsible mining.

The two cyanide spills in October 2005 prove that Lafayette is not a responsible miner. For this, the rally will call the local government to stop mining operations in Rapu-Rapu. Test run, they believe is not an option.

Any test run will result to misleading conclusions if done under weather conditions different from those in October 2005 and additional destruction if done under similar weather conditions. Either way, we lose.

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