Philex awaits MGB

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Sunday, August 17, 2014


PHILEX Mining Corporation said its major projects and programs will not proceed as long as there is no clearance from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) earlier lifted the cease and desist order issued to Philex, allowing them to operate.

The MGB decision will determine if the company will be given a permit to permanently operate as the suspension order it issued in 2012 is still in effect following the leak of its tailings pond.

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“We are hoping the decision will come out by this month,” Philex head for legal affairs Ed Aratas said.

The PAB decision covers only violations of the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 and the terms of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

Philex paid PAB P188.6 million in fines for the 2012 leak in Padcal. The fine covers violation of the Philippine Clean Water Act for the discharge of nontoxic water and sediment from Padcal’s Tailings facility.

The decision now lies with DENR-MGB Director Leo Jasareno.

Philex Mines has been operating for 50 years in the province and stopped operations in August of 2012 because of a defective tailings after two weeks of heavy rains brought about by typhoons Ferdie and Gener.

The cleanup of the Balog creek is also almost done except for areas under the jurisdiction of the National Power Corporation which has yet to be cleaned pending permission from the company.

Philex has successfully closed its penstock and is now using its fully operational spillway, after the leak which released water into the Balog and Agno rivers.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 18, 2014.

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