Philex agrees to pay P1-B fine for Padcal accident
MANILA, Philippines – Philex Mining Corp. will pay the P1.034-billion fine for the tailings spill at its Padcal mine in Benguet in August last year.
Following the decision of the government that the fine is final, the Philippines' biggest gold and copper producer announced that it will cooperate with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to pay the above amount for the mine accident, which caused sediments to leak into nearby rivers following successive typhoons.
The money will be used to compensate for the damage caused by the accident, and for the rehabilitation of the affected areas as may be determined by MGB.
“We will work closely with the MGB on this, as we welcome its decision that the amount to be paid would be used for remediation and rehabilitation of the affected areas,” Michael Toledo, Philex Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, said.
Philex is also required to submit a “work plan with budget estimate” which will be the “basis for the withdrawal from the fund of the amount to be expended accordingly,” MGB Acting Director Leo Jasareno said.
The company previously said water and sediment that leaked out of the pond were non-toxic and there were no casualties from the incident. There is however a lot of rehabilitation work to be done before operations can commence formally.
Philex hopes to resume operations by the second half of 2013.
This incident came amid a heated public debate about the mining industry in the Philippines. While the country is believed to hold some of the biggest mineral reserves in the world, it remains largely untapped due to strong anti-mining movement, uncertainty over regulations, poor infrastructure and security concerns. – Rappler.com