TUBA, Benguet– Philex Mining Corporation deposited some P60 million which is part of the P137 million that will be spent by the company for the implementation of its Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP) once it ends mine life by 2022.
Philex President and Chief Executive Officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said that the company is required under existing laws, rules and regulations to deposit the required amount for its FMRDP within a 5-year period until the amount will be fully paid when it stops operation by the projected mine life.
“We remain committed in complying with existing laws, rules and regulations governing the end of mine life. We want to make sure that we will be able to leave a legacy in the country’s mining industry once we will end mine life in the next four years,” Austin stressed.
The Philex official claimed that while it has been projected that mine life will end by 2022, the company is including in its current operating cost the partial rehabilitation of its working areas that could help speed up the proposed mine rehabilitation and decommissioning once its operations will come to a full stop.
According to him, the mine life is still dependent on the prevailing world metal prices that is why Philex’s mine life could either be cut short if world metal prices will drastically drop and the company will not be able to combat the same with significantly reduced operating cost.
On the other hand, he explained that if world metal prices will go up, then all its low grade deposits will be useful and will have significant value that could add up to the increase in its projected income to sustain the mine life until it will end up.
Under the provisions of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 or Republic Act (RA) 7942, companies are mandated to submit to the national government a FRMDP 5 years before the projected end of their mine life while the same will also be required to deposit the amount that will be spent by the companies during the duration of the 5-year period to ensure the speedy implementation of rehabilitation works in the mined out areas.
Austin admitted that the requirement for mining companies to submit an approved rehabilitation and decommissioning plan is to address the sins of the past wherein companies simply allegedly abandoned their mined out areas without undertaking any rehabilitation that will help in restoring the mined out areas close to their original state.
He added that Philex as a responsible miner, it was able to comply with the said requirement after a series of consultations with the representatives of concerned government agencies and the local government that is why they were also able to deposit part of the required funds to bankroll the mine rehabilitation plan and that the company will complete the payment of the computed funds annually until the same will be completed.
Austin asserted Philex remains committed to fulfil whatever are its mandatory obligations under the law before its projected end of mine life and event exceed the same if the prevailing situation of the company will allow the same do so because it will be the indigenous peoples that will reap the fruits of the rehabilitation plan once realized. By HENT