Mine reopening positive signal: Gullas-A A +A
Monday, March 11, 2013
GOVERNMENT’S decision allowing the temporary reopening of the country’s largest gold and copper mine sends a clear signal to investors that President Benigno Aquino III is supportive of valuable and responsible mining, a presidential ally in Congress said over the weekend.
“We welcome the regulatory resolutions enabling Philex Mining Corp. to temporarily revive operations at Padcal, which is in the best interest of all stakeholders, including the national government, which collects billions of pesos in tax revenues and regulatory fees from mining,” said Cebu 1st District Rep. Eduardo Gullas.
“We look forward to the day when Philex is able to operate Padcal without interruption, so it can resume creating the greatest possible value for all stakeholders,” Gullas said.
Gullas described Philex, which is 21 percent-owned by the state-run Social Security System, as the country’s “gold standard” in responsible mining.
Another “gold standard” in responsible mining, he said, is Cebu-based Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., now 35 percent-owned by the wealthiest Filipino, Henry Sy, through SM Investments Corp. and BDO Unibank Inc.
In a Philippine Stock Exchange filing on Friday, Philex said it restarted operations at Padcal in Itogon, Benguet at about 12:00am on Mar. 8, after it received authorization from the Pollution Adjudication Board to operate the mine for four months.
The temporary activities are meant to allow Philex to produce fresh tailings needed to reinforce a pond and reconstruct an offset dike.
Another regulator, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, previously permitted Philex to recommence operations at Padcal after the company settled a P1.034-billion fine for an accidental tailings pond overflow.
The runoff was caused by unprecedented heavy rains brought in by two successive typhoons, and prompted the mine’s voluntary shutdown on Aug. 1, 2012. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 12, 2013.