Philex condemns illegal mining, cites Compostela Valley tragedy
MANILA, Philippines — Philex Mining Corp. condemned the illegal mining activities in the country, citing the tragedy in Compostela Valley where almost hundreds were killed when Typhoon Pablo struck last week.
The country’s biggest producer of gold and copper reiterated this position in a December 11 statement, highlighting that Compostela Valley is home to a number of illegal mining activities.
“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the illegal mining activities all over the country, especially in Compostela Valley unregulated mining has contributed to the catastrophe that just visited the area,” said Michael Toledo, senior vice president for Corporate Affairs at Philex Mining.
He also stressed that the mining industry is in dire need of assistance from government regulators and local government officials to purge the sector of illegal miners who destroy the environment. He said these miners lack the resources for and know-how of disposing the hazardous chemicals they use in their operations.
He recalled the 2005 tragedy in Mt. Diwalwal, also in Compostela Valley, where the Philex Mining Rescue Team went down a tunnel, braving a poisonous gas leak, in order to retrieve the remains of illegal miners who died during a cave-in following a huge explosion.
Philex has also dispatched a 12-man team from Philex Mining’s Silangan Project in Surigao del Norte to help in the search and rescue operations in Compostela Valley, particularly in New Bataan village. - Rappler.com