Philex agrees to pay in full P1.034B fine for mine spill

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Philex Mining Corp. will pay in full the P1.034-billion fine imposed by the government over the mine spill at its Padcal mines a day ahead of the deadline.

The gold and copper producer has promised to comply with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) penalty following the spill of 20 million metric tons of tailings from its Tailings Storage Facility 3 in Padcal in August last year, even if it claimed that there was no negligence on its part.

“We believe it was a result of the elements of nature—an event of force majeure. But even as we are not at fault, we share the concern of the government for the environment, thus we are paying the fee, as set by regulators, to cover the costs of remediation and rehabilitation activities,” said Michael Toledo, senior vice president for corporate affairs at Philex Mining.

Philex contested the fines twice at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, arguing that the mine spill was a result of a historically unprecedented heavy rainfall. Its appeals were denied by the MGB, which insisted that Philex was negligent.

Nonetheless, Toledo said the company would continue cooperating with government regulators to ensure the safety and integrity of its TSF3 and the rehabilitation of the areas affected by the accidental discharge of water and sediment from the pond at Padcal mines in Itogon, Benguet.

Philex had to pay the full amount of the penalty on or before the Feb. 19 deadline as MGB director Leo Jasareno announced yesterday that the agency had rejected the request of the mining company last Feb. 13 to pay the fine on an installment basis.

The payment, according to Jasareno, would be remitted to the National Treasury and accrue to the Mine Wastes and Tailings Reserve Fund, which will be used to pay claims for compensation for the damage caused by the mine spill.

Apart from the P1-billion fine for violating the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Philex is facing P92.8 million in fines for polluting two water bodies—Balog creek and Agno River—and violating the Clean Water Act or the Republic Act 9275.

Philex has a pending request to the MGB to allow the resumption of its temporary operations in Padcal to ensure the stability of its tailings dam.

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  • Joseph

    Clearly the author did not do his research:
    Chartis, subsidiary of AIG, who insured the mine paid PX 1B php to pay for the fine.

    Source: PSE PX disclosures. Why else is the stock price up 20%?!

  • tower_of_power

    This is a BIG BULL …T!!! The govt regulators and Philex are both laughing out loud!!! 1 Billion pesos is not enough to cover what Philex says “to cover the costs of remediation and rehabilitation activities”. Chances are the money will not be spent for this purpose …. hahahaha. Kawawang Pinas …. at ang mga tao affected doon!!!

  • J

    They have to otherwise they will lose more. 
    2011 Philex earnings was more than P5B as the prices of metals is unprecedentedly high. They will be only blame themselves to miss China high buying price offer on minerals.

  • 1voxPopuli

    good they paid.

    now i hope govt does it share and use the money to clean-up the river.

  • Mamerto

    “Philex is facing P92.8 million in fines for polluting two water bodies, Balog creek and Agno River”
    IF PAID…, I wonder how this P92.8 million Fine will be spent.?
    IF PAID…, How would this P92.8 million Fine be enough to pay for the damage done to the health of residents along the Balog Creek and the Agno River.?
    Not to mention the cost of cleaning-up  these two water-ways.

    • malek_abdul

      Philex is paying P1.034 billion and aside from that is the P98million for polluting two bodies of water. The combined payment is for cleaning and remediation of the damaged environment and compensation to the directly affected populace. Try to comprehend the article.

  • carlcid

    Philiex pays the P1.3 B fine, in effect admitting responsibility for the spillage. Yet it continues to engage in “double-speak” when it blames nature and, basically, washes its hand of any guilt. That is precisely why there should be more safeguards in mining, because nature can be very severe and there have to be safety measures against the force of nature. What miners would like to do is to just extract the minerals and then blame nature for environmental destruction.

  • investor888

    Wow ! A Fine of more than P 1.3B without any toxic spillage while First Phil. Ind’l. Corp. fuel spillage in Makati has not been resolved yet for more than 3 yrs. & I have yet to hear penalty.  It has substantially affected the health of the residentials and poise more health hazards to the community.  What is the government doing here? Hoy! Gising!  

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Philex agrees to pay in full P1.3 billion fine for mine spill.

    In exchange for what?

    Philex-led group wins Palawan oil contract. (also in PDI’s biz section today)

    A sweetheart deal for Manny Pangilinan and the administration.

    Will Enrile use this to get back at PNoy?


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