Philex completes first stage of Padcal pond rehab

Rappler.com
Posted on 11/19/2012 3:16 AM  | Updated 11/19/2012 12:50 PM

MINE SPILL. A Philex  Mining staff checks the penstock at the tailing pond of the Padcal mine in Benguet. Photo provided by Philex MINE SPILL. A Philex Mining staff checks the penstock at the tailing pond of the Padcal mine in Benguet. Photo provided by Philex

MANILA, Philippines - Gold and copper producer Philex Mining Corp. has completed the first stage of the rehabilitation of the damaged tailings pond in its Padcal mine, paving the way for the resumption of mining operations "by the second half of 2013."

In a statement on November 16, Philex reported that it has "complete[d the] plugging of Penstock A which drains water to Tunnel A," which in turn was already sealed.

Padcal mine was temporarily closed after its only operating tailings pond leaked following torrential rain that dumped record rainfall into the facility in August. The closure has dampened financial performance of the country's largest gold producer this 2012.

It enumerated the following to-do's to prepare for the resumption of operations by 2013:

  1. Construction of an open spillway at Tailings Pond No. 3 to replace the existing penstock system for water management
  2. Rehabilitation of Tailings Pond No. 3 to ensure its integrity and the safe resumption of operations
  3. Construction of a new tailings pond
  4. Undertaking of remediation and rehabilitation measures in affected areas in close coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

The spillway, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2013, would enable Tailings Pond no. 3 to function for three more years, enabling the company to resume operations while a new tailings pond is being built.

Philex also said that Golder Associates Pty Ltd, the company's consultant for the dam remediation and protection, is studying the possibility of building a cofferdam to enhance the integrity and stability of the main dam of Tailings Pond No. 3.

"Philex is cooperating fully and working with the DENR, through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Environmental Management Bureau, to adopt and implement a rehabilitation and remediation program to address the effects of the leak," said Philex chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan. - Rappler.com

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