- Posted February 21, 2014 by
Davao City, Philippines
Mining firm details plan of its operation in Pantukan
The Kingking Copper and Gold Project in Pantukan, Compostela Valley laid out some details of its plan of operation especially on terms of environment protection and on the welfare of the small-scale miners that would be affected by its operation.
In a media briefing last Wednesday, Clyde Gillespie, country manager of KCGP, talked about their company’s plan on water treatment, marine life protection, tailings management, wildlife, and air quality.
Gillespie presented to the media their mining operation in environmental protection measures utilized by the mining industry in Alaska where their environmental protection measures are in accordance with the highest standards.
Their water treatment facilities (both active and passive) are so effective that the quality of the streams and rivers surrounding the mining area has improved and supports salmon spawning.
Gillespie said this is their plan in Pantukan once they start their operation. He said it is a tough job but it can be done.
Authorities said that decades of small-scale mining operation in Pantukan has not only contaminated the river with bacteria, silt and heavy metals like mercury but also degraded the vegetation in the area; eroded areas along the river.
On the issue on mine tailings, Gillespie said they will be using a dry stack tailing facility for handling tailings from the processing plant. Tailings will be filtered to remove moisture prior to stacking.
Mining officials said that the technology is more expensive but it would eliminate the long-term risk to the environment. Slope areas in Pantukan can be filled up with the dry-stacked tailings and be transformed into forested areas, parks, and even housing areas for the local community.
As to the would-be affected small-scale miners, KCGP is seriously considering the plan to allocate an area for small-scale miners who wanted to operate their own tunnels once their large-scale operation starts.
Gillespie said that though they would be offering jobs to small-scale miners that would be affected by their operation some would still opt to mine the bowels of the earth by themselves.
Thus, Gillespie said, they just might allocate an area for the small-scale miners and even supply them with better equipments to make their SSM operation safer and more efficient.
Small-scale mining operation in Pantukan has caused numerous deaths associated with unsafe mining practices and landslides created by improper management of mine wastes.
The Government even decided to make some areas in Pantukan as a “no habitation” areas due to the danger of landslides. But this order has not been heeded by the thousands of small-scale miners who continue to mine in the area.
With the entry of KCGP in the area, it is expected to reduce small scale mining operations over the next few years and reduce contamination and sediment flows in the rivers.
Small-scale miners will also be encouraged to work for the Project and be given opportunities to provide contract services to the Project.
KCGP anticipates hiring 4,000 to 6,000 workers during construction and will employ 1,700 people during operation. The company is also committed to training and hiring local residents along with the purchase of local goods and services.