MAC: Mines and Communities

Colet Exploration In Sipalay To Be Assessed

Published by MAC on 2006-11-11
Source: Sun Star

Colet exploration in Sipalay to be assessed

By Erwin Ambo S. Delilan, Sun Star

11th November 2006

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with the Provincial Board (PB) of Negros Occidental and other community stakeholders in Sipalay City, will conduct an environmental impact assessment in the ongoing exploration of Colet Mining Corporation in Barangay Manlocahoc, Sipalay City.

"The assessment aims to learn more of the complaint of the residents in Manlocahoc on the alleged environmental destruction caused by the exploration," said Board Member Reynaldo Depasucat, PB chair of the committee on environment.

This as he revealed that his office recently received a letter of complaint from 19 families in Manlocahoc addressed to the Bishop's Palace in Kabankalan and Bacolod cities alleging about the massive destruction of environmental and displacement of farmers in the area due to Colet exploration.

"That's why this environmental impact assessment will appraise us of the real situation in Manlocahoc considering that based on its permit, it will cover hundreds of hectares for copper mining later," Depasucat said.

Depasucat said that after the assessment, they will make a recommendation on whether or not to allow Colet's operation.

He also said that he will echo the result to the PB for them to decide on needed measures that will address the problems if the complaints are true. Sipalay City, dubbed as the "Jewel of Sugarlandia" because of its undiscovered fine beaches, which is likened to Boracay island, has been host to two mining operations in the past.

These were the Maricalum Mining for copper in Barangay San Jose and Gil Montilla and Philix Gold Mining for gold in Barangay Asia.

Both, however, caused environmental damages after their operation ended. Until now, the Maricalum Mining's tailing ponds are said to be still posing danger to nearby residents.

In the past years, these tailings ponds have been subjects of complaints of Sipalay residents as it reportedly brought illnesses hitting mostly children in the city.

"I hope that if Colet continues with these exploration, it will adhere to responsible mining rather than cause damage to environment and hazard to people's health."

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