Mine firm responds to environment office fine-A A +A
Friday, October 12, 2012
PHILEX Mining Corporation is standing its ground.
The mining firm submitted its official reply to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last October 10, maintaining the company is not liable to pay over P1 billion in fines and penalties.
Last month, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) slapped the company with a P1,034,358,971 fine.
Mike Toledo, senior vice president for Corporate Affairs, said the response contained the sentiments the leaks were caused by a force majeure, freeing the company for liabilities and penalties.
“We are not liable for fines, the MGB itself made a finding that there was no negligence on our part,” Toledo said.
Toledo said the company reiterated their responsibility to shoulder all rehabilitation and remediation and clean up cost.
The MGB and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has been conducting a technical assessment on site since the initial leak in August.
Losses due to the suspension of operation are estimated to reach over P200 million per month with losses per day estimated to reach P30-40 million.
Philex Mining Corporation is strongly eyeing the construction of Tailings Pond 4.
Toledo said work for the new tailings pond is now underway to replace the leak ridden tailings pond 3 which has stopped operations of the mining firm.
Toledo said the MGB is now in the process of reviewing their reply.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 13, 2012.