Philex Mining Corp., the biggest mining company in the Philippines, is open to forging a compromise with the Environment Department to resolve issues surrounding an accidental mine tailings spill in Benguet province.
“We are willing for a compromise. Our plan of action is to work with the DENR. It is for the best of interests if we can settle our issues without going to the courts,” Philex vice president for corporate affairs Michael Toledo said in an interview.
He said the company was hoping “everything will be resolved in due time.”
“There is a procedure in the under the Mining Act and the IRR [implementing rules and regulations] that will aid us in the resolution of these issues.”
The company maintained that the incident at Padcal mines that resulted in its temporary closure was a force majeure.
Philex said it was also open to facing arbitration before the department’s Pollution Adjudication Board if the government saw the need.
The department has threatened to revoke Philex’s environmental compliance certificate after the environmental management bureau released a “notice of adverse findings.”
The notice claimed the mining company violated a condition of the ECC that states “pond effluent discharges shall conform with the standards set forth under RA 9275 or the Clean Water Act of the Philippines and its implementing rules and regulations.”
The bureau further said non-compliance with the provisions of the ECC would require the revocation of the permit or fine of P50,000 per violation.
Philex said it remained upbeat with its revenue prospects in 2013 and planned to resume operations in the middle of next year.
The company has trimmed down revenue projection in 2012 to P1.7 billion from P5 billion.
Philex recently plugged the source of the leak in one of the tunnels and continued work on cleaning up the affected portions of the Balog Creek and Agno River, where the mine wastes were accidentally discharged.