Tampakan mines is world's most dangerous, expert says

THE Tampakan Copper Gold Project operated by the Sagittarius Mines Inc. in the triboundaries of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Sarangani is said to be one of the most dangerous mining projects in the world, according to an expert who made a study on the mining project few years ago.

Clive Montgomery Wicks, conservation and development consultant specializing in the impact of extractive industries, said the Tampakan mining project is estimated to produce 2.7 billion tons of mine wastes.

He said the plan was to place the mine wastes on top of the mountain above the open pit mine site. If this is materialized, he said, the mine wastes will be stacked up to 300 meters high and will cover about 500 hectares.

Wicks said considering that the mining area is located just ten kilometers away from Mount Matutum, which is an active volcano, seismic activities within the mining area is high and thus the possibility of all the mine wastes going down to the populated area and down into the water sources is extremely possible.

He said the drilling of about 800 meters around the area of Mt. Matutum would also result to "induced seismic activity."

He said despite the assurance by the mining corporation that their mine tailings dam will be strong enough, constant seismic activity would eventually destroy the dam and its toxic wastes would cover a very large farming area down the mountain.

In a statement, SMI corporate communications and media relations manager John Arnaldo dismissed Wicks's doomsday scenario. He said they have complied with all the necessary measures to prevent such a disaster from happening.

"We have completed our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies in accordance with relevant local and international standards. These robust, evidence-based studies involved both Filipino and international experts and have taken a number of years to complete as part of our integrated mine planning process. The EIA identified the proposed measures to mitigate and manage the potential environmental and social risks," Arnaldo said.

"The EIS and ESIA document the project risks and SMI’s commitments to mitigate these risks. We are confident all risks can be mitigated," he added.

As to the project's proximity to the active volcano, Arnaldo said a site specific hazard assessment was completed as part of the EIS, which included consideration of volcanic hazards.

Wicks, meanwhile, urged the Philippine government to involve not just one agency in the issuance of mining permits. He said the agriculture and fisheries agencies must also have their say on allowing mining companies to operate considering that mining has a direct impact on the destruction of crops and aquamarine resources.

"We don’t think the government has the ability to control what the mining corporations are doing. And we don’t think that even if you allowed mining that you are going to make money out of it. What you are making is enormous liability. The impact on food and water is going to be huge," Wicks said.

"You have to have an interdepartmental, no one person must decide whether to have a mine or not. There must be involvement of other agencies like the agriculture and fisheries that will also be affected by the mining pollution," he added.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Appeal for convicted Pinay in Indonesia continues – Palace

    The Aquino government is doing everything possible to save a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, a Palace official said yesterday.Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government was moving within Indonesia’s legal framework to spare Mary Jane Veloso from death.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario continues to exhaust all legal avenues to save Veloso from execution, Valte said.The Indonesian Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the government’s …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Bulacan, Bataan are top Lenten destinations

    MALOLOS, Bulacan – With the expected Holy Week exodus of Catholic devotees to various pilgrimage sites in Bulacan, Bataan and other provinces near Metro Manila, local and provincial officials have coordinated with security and emergency response teams to address the influx of visitors.Among the pilgrimage sites in Bulacan that are often visited by travelers are the Divine Mercy Shrine in the town of Marilao; the procession of saints in Baliwag; the Banal na Bundok with the Stations of the Cross …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options