Bagacay mines’ rehab to take 4 more years-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
THE full rehabilitation of Bagacay Mines in Hinabangan, Samar will take about four more years, said an official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
MGB regional mines management division chief Romulo Babatugon said that rehabilitation efforts from 2010 until this year have been focused on research.
“We hope that the research component will be fully completed this year so we can proceed with the full rehabilitation starting 2014 until 2017,” Babatugon said.
Bagacay Mines is one of the seven priority abandoned mine sites in the Philippines.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has a budget of P60 million for the rehabilitation efforts in the next four years.
Until 2012, the project had been undertaken through a loan from the World Bank.
Research activities have been concentrating on identifying proper forest and plant species adaptable to the area, soil amelioration that is conducive for forest growth, final investigation on the characteristics of the acidic rocks and water of the abandoned site, as well as the proper neutralization technologies for acidic water.
The mine has been blamed for degrading the quality of the Taft River, causing fish kills, siltation, and overflowing, leading to the inundation of agricultural land - and the death of crops - along its banks.
Babatugon said rehabilitation works on the site, abandoned 21 years ago, include reforestation, mitigation of acid drainage, soil stabilization, construction of laboratory building, and putting up of structures to stop soil erosion.
From 1956–1985, Marinduque Mining and Industrial Corp. (MMIC), which previously owned the property, operated the mine primarily for copper minerals.
In 1986, MMIC then entered into an agreement with Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp., which in turn tied up with the Philippine Pyrite Corporation (PPC), a subsidiary of Philpos, which operated the mine from 1986 to 1992 for pyrite concentrates.
PPC ceased operation in 1992 due to the rising operational cost of recovery and labor dispute. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)