Philex prepares rehab program for post-mine life at Silangan
Editor's Note: This is a Press Statement from the Philex Mining Corp. released on Sunday, October 28, 2012.
SURIGAO CITY, Philippines — Philex Mining Corp. has prepared a rehabilitation program for its Silangan Project in Surigao del Norte that would be implemented upon mine closure to create sustainable development for its host-community.
“We assure the community that Philex will take care of the Silangan Project even after its operations,” Victor Francisco, vice president for Environment and Community Relations at Philex Mining, said.
He added that Philex Mining would work for the sustainable development of the community, in order to make it self-sufficient even after the life of mine (LoM) of the project.
Dubbed Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP), the program is a pre-requisite for a mining company to be able to start operations, as mandated by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 7942.
“This ensures that even before the actual operations, a rehabilitation plan as well as funds for such are in place already,” Francisco said.
Philex Mining earlier said it was on-track for the commencement of production in its Silangan Project by 2017. The project covers the Boyongan and Bayugo deposits, which are currently under pre-feasibility stage.
Silangan Mindanao Exploration Co., Inc. (SMECI), through its subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. (SMMCI), owns the Silangan Project. SMECI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Philex Mining through a holding company and Philex Gold Philippines, Inc. (PGPI).
Francisco said the FMRDP is formulated through a third-party expert and in consultation with the host-communities, in order to ascertain that stakeholders carry out the rehabilitation program after the project’s LoM.
The program proposal will then be submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its Mines and Geosciences Bureau for evaluation and approval.
The FMRDP makes sure that mined out and operation areas, storage facilities, structures, and equipment get rehabilitated and taken care of after the project’s LoM. A trust fund is likewise allocated and kept in a government depository bank, for the sole purpose of defraying costs of the rehabilitation program.
After production operations shall have been ceased, Francisco said, a care and maintenance team is installed to implement the program and to carry out continuous care of the environment and the community.
“As a responsible mining company, Philex-SMMCI shall uphold what is mandated by law and would even do better,” he stressed, citing the company’s Bulawan mine in Sipalay, Negros Occidental and Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte, which are currently under care and maintenance.
PGPI operated the Bulawan mine, which ceased operations in 2002 and is now in a better environmental condition than before. The Sibutad mine, which stopped operations in 1999, is now blanketed with lush greenery, a far cry from what it was before Philex Mining
came in—a mountain thinly covered with cogon grass.