Philex resumes mining operations-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has allowed the Philex Mining Corporation to resume its mining operations for four months, starting February 26, 2013.
The MGB order stated that Philex will resume operations in a bid to collect tailings to fill tailings pond 3 before the onset of the rainy season, stabilizing the area in time for the onslaught of wet season.
Philex stocks soared on Wednesday morning following the MGB order allowing the mines to operate.
The MGB order stipulated that Philex has to hire a third-party team to monitor its remediation and rehabilitation plan in areas affected by the tailings-spill accident in August 2012.
Michael Toledo, Philex senior vice president for Corporate Affairs, said, “We thank the MGB for this decision involving the urgent remediation measures for our tailings pond.”
Tailings pond 3 at the Padcal area needs 3.5-million tons of fresh tailings to fill up the conical void and create a beach at the pond.
The filling and beaching process would push the accumulated water away from the pond’s embankment and into an open spillway.
Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles said the decision of the MGB is a very welcome development for the municipality. “We are happy that the security and the safety of Tailings pond 3 have been addressed,” he said.
Camantiles said the municipality has fully supported the re opening of the mines both for the temporary and permanent operations.
“This is a good sign, that the MGB has understood the need to resume operations,” he said.
On February, Philex paid government P1.034 billion in fees over the accident; the money would cover the costs of remediation and rehabilitation activities as a result of the accident, which has affected the Balog Creek and its convergence area with Agno River.
Camantiles said the temporary re-opening of the mines might be the start of good things to come for the mines.
“It is good the government is listening to the sentiments of the affected communities,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 28, 2013.