Philex restores crucial facility at Padcal mine
Philex Mining Corp. has restored Tailings Storage Facility No. 3 (TSF3) at the Padcal mine to a level of stability where the company may be able to sustain “continued operations.”
The company on Wednesday announced that tailings at the pond is now at 597 meters above sea level, which will enable Philex to prevent the recurrence of last year’s accident.
Heavy rains in August 2012 led to the creation of a sinkhole, which released nontoxic water and tailings to the Balog Creek, which converges with the Agno River.
“We are committed to continue our production, in order to help in economic development and environmental protection,” said Eulalio Austin, Jr., Philex Mining president and chief executive.
The company plans to raise the tailings level further to 602 meters and eventually to 608 meters, Austin added.
Since March 8, when Philex Mining resumed production, about 26,000 tons of tailings had been deposited daily into TSF3, said Libby Ricafort, resident manager of Padcal mine.
“We are bent on continuing our operations at the current pace, in order to bring our TSF3 back to its most stable condition before the accident, which followed historically unprecedented rains brought about by two successive typhoons,” Ricafort said.
Philex Mining provided immediate relief to 45 families residing along the Balog-Agno convergence area, giving them food aid and compensation for their loss of livelihood.
Also, the company said the quality of water tributaries near the Padcal mine site—including Balog Creek and Agno River—and even downstream to the irrigation canal in Pangasinan has passed regulatory limits and remained below the effluent standards set by the government.
Philex Mining also said fish samples were within the criteria imposed by foreign environment commissions.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.