Philex pursues remediation plan for Padcal
(The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Listed Philex Mining Corp. plans to raise the elevation of the beach created in the compromised tailings storage facility no. 3 (TSF3) of its copper-gold mine in Padcal to stabilize the facility.

In a statement, the Pangilinan-led company said it would need at least two years to raise the elevation of the beach to between 602 and 608 meters above sea level (masl) from the current 597.

Philex has been dumping into the pond 26,000 tons of fresh tailings daily since it was given clearance by the government to resume operations last March 8.

 â€œWe must continue with our operations at the current pace, in order to bring our TSF3 to its former condition before the Aug. 1, 2012 accident,” Libby Ricafort, Padcal vice president and mine resident manager said, referring to the massive tailings spill that occurred last year.

Early this year, the government approved as part of the company’s remediation program the creation of a beach in the tailings pond to fill the void left by the sediment discharge and push away the accumulated water into an open spillway.

Experts consulted by Philex recommended the conduct of the beaching process because it is the fastest, and most cost efficient way of restoring TP3 to its original state.

Two chutes of the open spillway have already been completed last June while the third and last chute would be built during the next dry season.

When all three chutes have been completed, the spillway would be able to channel up to 1,500 millimeters (mm) of rain water over 24 hours.

According to government regulations, an open spillway must be designed to withstand an unusually heavy amount of rainfall – some 1,000 mm in 24 hours – which has a one percent chance of occurring at any time.

In 2009, typhoon Ondoy inundated Metro Manila with 455 mm of rain dumped over 24 hours.

Philex is still operating under a temporary capacity. After all remediation measures have been finished, the government will review the status of the mine and decide if the mine is fit to resume operations permanently.

Ricafort said once the desired elevation of the beach is reached, the pond’s Penstock B, which is kept operational to provide drainage for the pond as the spillway is completed, would be decommissioned.



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