Citinickel Mines allowed to resume operations in Palawan mine

(The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has allowed Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation (CMDC) to resume operations in its Pulot mine in Sofronio Española in Palawan.

CMDC is a unit of listed Oriental Peninsula Resources Group, Inc.

The MGB on June 10 suspended CMDC’s operations after a silt spill occurred in its Pulot mine on June 5, 2014 due to breaching of its siltation control facilities. This resulted to a massive discoloration of runoff and deposition of lateritic sediments along the stretch of Pasi River to Pulot River.

In an order dated Dec. 22, 2014, MGB director Leo Jasareno noted that the MGB Regional office IVB (Mimaropa) and the Multupartite Monitoring team Rapid Reaction Team recommended the lifting of the suspension order after confirming that all conditions for resumption of operations have been complied with.

CMDC had also settled with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) a penalty of P3 million as an environmental obligation for 14 days of pollution of a water body in violation of the Clean Water Act of 2004. The amount of the fine was determined by the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB).

“With the forgeoing fact showing that CMDC has complied with all the pertinent conditions and requirements, the suspension order for the company’s mining operation in Sofronio Española, Palawan is hereby lifted,” said Jasareno in the order.

Prior to the lifting of the suspension of the operations in the Pulot mine, the MGB allowed in July last year the exportation of stockpiled ore in the mine while the firm complies with the conditions set for resumption of operations.

A similar spill occurred in in November 2012 at CMDC’s Toronto nickel mine in the municipality of Narra, Palawan.

The spill occurred due to a lapse in judgement of the mine foreman who drained silt into an old and non-serviceable sump, leading to outflowing of water and sediment to the Pinagduguan River.

At least 6.8 hectares of farmlands were also affected by the spill.

The MGB lifted the suspension order on CMDC’s mining operations in Narra in July last year after the company complied with the conditions for the resumption of operations.

Oriental Peninsula has a 94-percent equity interest in CMDC, which is the sole claim owner of the Pulot mine and the Toronto mine located in the municipalities of Sofronio Española and Narra in Palawan.

CITINICKEL MINES AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION CLEAN WATER ACT CMDC ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU LEO JASARENO MINE MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU PALAWAN PULOT SOFRONIO ESPA
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