Philex: Balog Creek 98% clean-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Libby Ricafort, vice president for Operations at Philex Mining and resident manager of Padcal site, said total cleanup of the Balog Creek is almost done.
Ricafort said the 2.5-kilometer Balog Creek is 98 percent cleaned of silt as of late April. The company is now waiting for the area clearance approval by National Power Corp. (NPC) to begin work.
Philex Mining Corporation has set aside P100 million for building roads and installing customized equipments to clean up Balog Creek's convergence area with Agno River in Benguet of silt.
The go signal from the NPC is needed as the area falls within the property of the power corporation.
Government regulators allowed the Padcal mine to resume operations in March after a seven-month voluntary suspension of operations in order to produce 25,000 cubic meters of fresh tailings daily for the filling and beaching process involving the urgent remediation of TSF3.
The mining firm is filling up the void of the damaged tailings pond 3 which collapsed, forcing a halt in work for the mining firm last year.
The structure of the mine’s tailings pond 3 weakened due to incessant rains, resulting in the leakage. However, silt from the tailings pond which threatened to reach the dam was trapped in the reservoir’s dead storage, which is said to have a capacity of 300 million cubic meters.
Ricafort said pumping equipment is needed to be set up in the area to clean what is left of the area.
NPC has previously asked Philex to pay for the damages caused by the miner’s accidental discharge on its tailings pond in Padcal mine.
NPC is either demanding Philex to remove 13.5 million cubic meters of mine wastes from the reservoir or pay P6.4 billion.
Ricafort said the company's legal team is handling the issue involving the NPC demands.
The province has rallied behind the resumption of mining operations of Philex fearing an economic dislocation if the 50-year old mine grinds to a halt, rendering over 3,000 employees, jobless.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 05, 2013.