Philex Mining issue being deliberated at the national level, Cordillera mining industry stable- MGB

Lito Dar / PIA
Posted: 01-Nov-2012 / 1 year 24 weeks ago


BAGUIO CITY,Nov. 1 (PIA) - - Cordillera’s mining industry remains stable, as the Philex Mining Corporation tailing pond leak is a solitary incident that is now  being deliberated at the national level.
 Thus reported   Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR-CAR) Mines and Geo-Science Bureau (MGB) OIC Fay Apil, in a press conference here Tuesday.
“The mining industry remains healthy despite the Philex issue.” Apil said  adding that  investors still express their willingness to come in the region, though with Executive Order 79, a moratorium for such investment is still in effect.
In the same forum, officials from Benguet Corporation, Cordillera Exploration Company, Inc. (CEXCI), Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc (ISRI) supported Apil’s statement of a sound mining industry in the region  as they also stressed that the Philex incident also strengthens their commitment for ensuring mine safety.
Meantime, MGB-CAR Mines Environment and Safety Division chief Engr. Zards Gacad disclosed  that the MGB suspension order  for Philex Mines operation  is still in effect  as the  case is  being deliberated by the Pollution Adjudication Board at the central office and will remain such until the case is decided upon and after a re-assessment of  the company's  capability to re-operate gets a positive nod.
As for the leak on Philex Tailing Pond (storage) facility number 3 which caused the suspension of the mine's operation since August,  Gacad reported that  as per their monitoring, the leak has been plugged since September 24 and that Philex is now on the clean-up and rehabilitation work.
Gacad also explained  that the Philex Tailing Pond leak incident, which involved 11 discharge incidents starting last August 1, resulted to around 13.5 Million cubic meters or roughly P20.7 metric tons of discharge sediments along the Balog Creek, which under existing law costs Philex to pay the government around P1.034 Billion in penalty/damages. The case is currently being deliberated by the PAB.
As for the effect of the discharge sediments along Balog River and the San Ran Roque river, Gacad also affirmed that based on the tests they have conducted  through a third party, the water in the area remains safe as the sediments are within the threshold or standard limit.
As for those other party claiming that water in the rivers are toxic, the MGB   called  on them to present the basis that will prove their claim. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR) 


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