The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- The release of water and sediment from Tailings Pond No. 3 of the Padcal mine in Benguet province has been contained, Philex Mining Corp. president and COO Eulalio Austin Jr. said.
A statement form the mining firm on Saturday quoted Austin as saying the tailings spill was contained around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
“Despite the heavy rains, thick fog and strong gusty winds in the area, our team has successfully removed concrete stopboards at the penstock area of Tailings Pond No. 3,” Austin said. “Since the mine continues to be closed, no further tailings are added to the pond.”
Philex will continue undertaking emergency response procedures to ensure minimal damage to downstream communities even as it reiterated that the discharge from the tailings pond is non-toxic and that no injuries had been caused by the incident.
The tailings spill, which was triggered by heavy rains over two weeks from typhoons “Ferdie” (international codename: Vicente) and “Gener” (international codename: Saola) prompted Philex to suspend operations at Padcal at midnight of August 1 as a precautionary measure.
The firm immediately reported the accident to the Mines and Geosciences Board on August 2.
The MGB issued a cease operation order that will remain in force until such the safety and integrity of the tailings pond is assured.
MGB regional director Leo Jazareno inspected the area on August 3.
The mine will remain closed until a full assessment of the tailings pond can be done.
“We will conduct full assessment of the measures that need to be undertaken for rehabilitation, including the clean up of affected waterways,” Austin said. “All of us at Philex are mindful of doing the right thing. We will stand by our commitment to being a responsible mining corporation.”
The mining company said it is in close coordination with local government units and concerned government agencies.
Philex is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan, who is also the chairman of TV5, of which InterAksyon.com is the online news portal.