Official Statement from Taganito Mining Corp: Re Equipment Burning near Sitio Daging, Urbiztondo, Claver

On July 21, 2010, a group of armed men took two security guards hostage and, after freeing the security guards later in the day, proceeded to burn a number of heavy equipment belonging to a Surigao-based contractor, which equipment was under contract with our company.

From cell phone conversations between the armed group and ourselves and from observations passed on to us by the security guards, it is apparent that the armed group was composed of indigenous peoples belonging to the Mamanwa tribe. It is also apparent that their action was caused by their unhappiness with the sharing of the 1% royalty from our company between the Mamanwa tribal communities in the affected area within or adjacent to our mine site, and other Mamanwa tribal communities that are not within the affected area.

Our company pays a 1% royalty pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and the 1995 Philippine Mining Act from our operations within the ancestral land of the Mamanwa tribe. Under regulations of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (“NCIP”), our royalty is being paid to the Mamanwa tribal communities that are within the affected area of our mining operations. We understand that such communities share the royalty with other tribal communities within the ancestral land.

The records will show that we have made substantial payments under the royalty and that we provide substantial services to the tribal communities within the affected area, including employment, housing and education. We are indeed proud of our record with respect to the indigenous peoples, which is an obligation that we take seriously.

However, we wish to state that the sharing of the royalty or other benefits from our company between the affected and non-affected tribal communities is not a decision that our company can make, since we are bound by regulations of the NCIP.

We deplore the burning of the equipment of our contractor and the disruption to our operations by this armed intrusion. We believe that this issue can be resolved by peaceful dialogue between the Mamanwa tribal communities, with the assistance of the NCIP and other concerned sectors of society. We stand ready to assist in such dialogues if called to do so. (Taganito Mining Corporation)


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