Philex asks govt to lift suspension order on Padcal
MANILA, Philippines - Manny V. Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. said it has asked the government to lift its suspension order on its Padcal mine operations.
Speaking on the sidelines of Philex’s annual stockholders' meeting on Wendesday, June 26, Philex CEO Eulalio Austin Jr. said the company filed the petition on Friday, June 21.
"Last Friday, we already requested the lifting of the extension. There are options that we requested the government about. There is some sort of level that we need to satisfy to confirm the long term," said Austin.
"The board is going up on Friday (June 28) to inspect the tailings pond, spillway and overall condition of the mine," he added.
Pangilinan, Philex chair, previously said the company needed to raise the dike of tailingsstorage facility no. 3 (TSF3) to 592 meters above sea level from the current 584 meters to ensure its safety especially with the onset of the rainy season.
"We’d like that so at least there’s more certainty of operations but at the end, it’s up to the government," said Pangilinan.
Earlier in the year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) allowed Philex to resume operations for 4 months starting March following a suspension in August 2012 due to the collapse of TSF3. The temporary permit will expire on July 8.
The government fined Philex at least P1 billion for violation of its environmental compliance certificate as well as of the Clean Water Act.
Following the incident, Philex saw its net income in the first quarter of 2013 plunge 68% from a year ago. Philex said its January to March net income reached only P403 million, significantly down from the P1.268 billion it recorded in the same period last year.
At the stockholders' meeting, Pangilinan said Philex could register a profit in the second quarter.
"Under normal conditions the company can report profitability when the Padcal mine is operating. We resumed operations only sometime in early March and despite the 2 month closure of 2013 we managed to report profitability of P400 million for for the first quarter of 2013 so I cannot foresee why the second half should not show profitability for Philex," he said. - Rappler.com