ITOGON, Benguet – The municipal government recently lifted the suspension order on the exploration being conducted by the Philex Mining Corporation within the mining tenement of the Macawiwili Gold Development Co. Inc. in barangay Ampucao.
Mayor Bernard S. Waclin said that the suspension order was lifted as settlement was reached by the claimants and the mining company that owns the tenement area thus there is no compelling reason to continue implementing the earlier issued suspension order.
This, after a number of claimants that filed an environmental case against the mining company entered into a settlement agreement for the compensation of their claims that paved the way for the filing of a joint motion to dismiss the said case.
The local chief executive claimed that considering the settlement reached between the concerned claimants and the mining company, there is no longer a compelling reason to continue implementing the suspension order issued by the municipal government that averted the initial exploration conducted within the tenement area.
“We hope there will be no longer complaints that will arise on alleged unpaid claims within the area so that the proposed exploration will not be unduly interrupted. We commend the concerned parties for their efforts to come together and agree on settling the issues and concerns on unpaid claims so that whatever desired activities within the property will push through,” mayor Waclin stressed.
Philex Mining Corporation entered into an agreement with Macawiwili Gold Development Co. Inc. for the former to conduct initial exploration within the latter’s tenement area to ascertain if there will be substantial order deposit that will allow the conduct of future mining operations that will serve as an extension of mine life.
Philex continues to aggressively conduct exploration activities within and outside the attainment area as part of its plan to look for suitable and feasible areas to pursue its mining operations and further extend its mine life beyond 2027 as earlier projected.
Philex is considered as the largest gold and copper producer in Southeast Asia that was incorporated in 1958.
Benguet is considered to be one of the mineralized areas in the country playing host to the operation of large-scale mining companies like Philex, Benguet Corporation, Itogon Suyoc Resources, Inc. and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company aside from the presence of numerous small-scale mining activities in various mineral-rich towns in the province.
Waclin urged similarly situated communities to emulate what had been done by the claimants and the concerned mining company to settle their disputes to avoid the unnecessary delays in the supposed conduct of pre-mining operations that will allow future mining activities pivotal in spurring economic growth and providing employment and livelihood opportunities for the people living in host and neighboring communities. By Dexter A. See