MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Ngo Reports Breach In Zambo Mine Tailings Dam

Published by MAC on 2007-07-19
Source: Philippine Star

NGO reports breach in Zambo mine tailings dam

By Marianne V. Go,

19th July 2007

TVI Pacific, a Canadian-owned firm operating a gold mining project in Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, has reportedly suffered a sulphide tailings dam breach, according to non-government organization Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

ATM coordinator Roy Calfoforo said “this was the same dam that they built last year despite opposition from the local residents because it isn’t part of the 508 hectares covered by TVI’s mineral production and sharing agreement (MPSA) with the government.”

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is still verifying the report.

TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc., in a statement, denied the collapse and insisted that its impoundment facilities remain structurally sound.

According to Jay Nelson, TVIRD vice president for environment and civil works, there is only one operational tailings dam, the Gossan tailings dam, which is still “very much standing.”

Nelson said the company is constructing another suphides dam and a recent heavy downpour may have caused some of the red earthworks for the dam to be washed down.

Timuay Boy Anoy, leader of the Subanon people whose sacred mountain Canatuan has been affected by TVI operations, said that the MPSA was granted despite the absence of genuine consent from indigenous residents of the affected area.

“This only exposes the rhetoric of responsible mining that TVI flaunts,” according to Jo Villanueva, executive director of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, Inc. (LRC), a member of ATM.

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