Surigao, Philippines - Attack on Nickel Ore Mines
It has been just over a week since rebel forces of the New Peoples Army (NPA) attacked nickel ore mines in the Surigao region, including attacks at Taganito Mining Corp and PGMC. There have been no further attacks to date. The areas around Surigao, where loading is normally undertaken, are remote and away from main mine offices and infrastructure (the three attacked were on the coast of mainland Mindanao). Operations take place on deserted islands with very limited equipment. The mines which were attacked had considerable damage to infrastructure, administration buildings, laboratories, depot for heavy equipment and, in the case of TMC, a smelting plant which was in the process of being built. The rebels hit these targets to cause financial damage to the mine owners. There was also damage to local tugs, barges and landing craft.
There have been no reports of international ships being attacked in the action. PGMC have brought in additional dump trucks, backhoes and landing craft and in order to resume some limited loading operations. It appears that, despite the damage elsewhere, the nickel cargo itself is undamaged. Loading continues at many of the mines and conditions are peaceful for the time being.
However, Masters and crew of vessels loading in the area should remain cautious and alert. Last week's attacks demonstrate that the NPA can attack at any time, anywhere, in considerable numbers. People were shot and killed during the last attacks.The NPA has threatened more attacks, albeit to the South at the copper and gold mines.
Members whose vessels are due to load nickel ore at ports in the Philippines should check developments with local agents and correspondents, and should contact the Managers' London Representatives if they require further information.
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