3 mining firms to pay Zambales farmers P3.2M


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3 mining firms to pay Zambales farmers P3.2M
Farmers will be compensated for their damaged lots due to nickel laterite operations in the province

MANILA, Philippines – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) ordered 3 mining firms in Zambales to pay P3.2 million ($72,360)* to compensate the farmers whose lots in the municipalities of Sta. Cruz and Candelaria have been damaged by their operations.

A total of 30 farm lots located in Barangays Tubo-Tubo North, Tubo-Tubo South, and Lomboy were affected by the mining operations of Benguet Corporation Nickel Mines, Inc., Eramen Minerals, Inc., and LNL Archipelago Minerals, Inc., MGB said on its website, citing the report of its Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund Steering Committee (CLRFSC).

The claims were approved based on the report of the Regional Investigation and Assessment Team created by the MGB Regional Office III.

The claims amount was computed based on the impact areas and river systems immediately located in the contract areas of the mining companies.

The total compensation amount shall be distributed among the 3 companies based on the extent of damage caused by their operations, MGB said.

MGB suspended in July 2014 the nickel extraction operations of the 3 mining firms because of unsystematic strip mining methods.

The unsystematic strip mining operations lead to inefficient recovery of minerals and cause adverse environmental impacts, like siltation in bodies of water and generation of dust, MGB Director Leo Jasareno said.

Prior to the suspension, residents of Sta. Cruz have been complaining of nickel contamination in shores and rice fields.

As such, the companies were ordered to remove all stand-by stockpiles in open cut areas and store these in designated stockpile areas, equipped with proper drainage systems.

The firms were also ordered to implement maintenance measures for the duration of the suspension and reports shall be sent to the MGB regional office for compliance. – Rappler.com

*US$1 = P44.22

Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of this story, we reported that the value of P3.2 million in US dollars is $72.36 million. The correct value is $72,360. We regret the error and have made the necessary correction.

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