Philippine gold and copper miner Philex Mining Corp. may be forced to indefinitely suspend operations at its Padcal mine in Benguet province as the mining firm mulls to replace the facility following a second wave of leak spill last week.
Open pit gold mining
Caused by bad weather conditions in Philex' mine site, Padcal's waste facility in Itogon, Benguet leaked for the second time on Thursday. The first occurred on Aug. 1 wherein the mine excreted up to 6.5 tonnes of sedimentation into the Balog River. The country's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) fined Philex Mining Corp. ₱325 million for the incident.
Mike Toledo, Philex Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, told news portal www.rappler.com the company is studying to change the only active tailings pond of the Padcal mine. He said the mining company, the Philippines' largest gold producer, has held talks with a team of experts to assess the reliability of the tailings pond.
"We are continuing with our remediation efforts. We have gotten international consultants from Australia to make sure we will resolve the issue," Mr Toledo said.
He said the company is willing to decommission the pond and invest in a new one should the expert team recommend it, noting potential areas for the new tailings pond have been identified.
The first leak, according to MGB, led to four recorded discharges of tailings into the environment. The Balog River is a river tributary of the Agno River which flows down to Pangasinan in the northern part of the country.
The Padcal mine has three tailings pond but only one is actively used. The other two have been decommissioned and rehabilitated as forest areas.
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