The recent mining disaster at Mt Diwawal Compostela Valley which reported 18 fatalities is an example of what happens when mining is left to small scale local miners or to illegal miners.
Most of the bishops, priests and other members of the clergy who are anti-administration have been so due to their opposition of the passage of the Mining Act of 1995. They have adopted the leftist mindset in believing that mining should be left to the locals (xenophobia) and or that it is harmful to the environment.
However, they fail to realize that the local investors do not have the technology (for efficient and socially responsible mining) and the appropriate finances to undertake these capital intensive projects. By advocating a freeze on mining, they fail to understand too that high prices of metals would NOT DETER BUT RATHER INSPIRE ILLEGAL MINING to mushroom in a country richly endowed with metals and minerals! It is simply about economics. As long as it would be profitable to mine due to high metal prices, mining activities would continue to flourish, illegitimate or legitimate. Now with insufficient expertise, technology and finances, illegal mining would only lead to more environmental degradation and more deaths, as in the recent case at