MANILA, Philippines – Benguet Corporation (PSE:BC) receives today a show cause letter issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) concerning its last October 27-dated Antamok tailings spill incident.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Reynaldo P. Mendoza, BC Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Legal & Assistant Corporate Secretary, confirmed receipt of the show cause letter from the environmental department. The purpose of the letter is to highlight the tailings spill incident in the firm’s Antamok mine last October 27 this year.
BC was provided seven days from the receipt of the latter to explain why the suspension should not be enforced to its operations. The firm should also elucidate why the cancellation of its mining contract with the Government should not ensue.
The company guaranteed to provide response relative to the show cause order by emphasizing that there was no negligent act committed on its part. BC would like to stress that the incident is attributed to an inevitable accident and was immediately rectified.
Last month, BC was reported to be fined at least P24 million for the said incident bin Itogon, Benguet. According to Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the mining firm’s fine is based on the daily computation of P200,000 from October 27 to November 15 of the current year.
It was clarified by EMB that the leaks have polluted Agno, Liang, and Ambalanga rivers. The findings showed that at least 50,000 metric tons of mine tailings from BC’s mine have leaked into Liang river. The problem was due to drain tunnel breach of the mining site, particularly after heavy rains from Super Typhoon Lawin. Before reaching Agno river, the leaks traversed into Ambalanga river.
Last October, BC has also been in the midst of government suspension risk relative to its Sta. Cruz, Zambales-based nickel mine. Following the contract cancellation, the mining company has to lay off 1,000 workers. BC’s mine has been one of the 20 mines ordered to be suspended following a widened audit for violation of safety laws.
Benguet Corporation was established on August 12, 1903 under the name Benguet Consolidated Mining Company. In 1956, the company changed its name to Benguet Consolidated, Inc. Later in 1980, the firm decided to revise its name to the present one.
BC is known for exploring mines and producing nickel, ore, gold, and limestone. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides services related to shipping and logistics. Furthermore, the mining firm is also selling supplies and equipment alongside its development of real estate projects and water resources.