Philex confirms 2nd leak at gold mine in Benguet

by Lois Calderon, ANC

Posted at Sep 03 2012 06:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2012 02:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Mine waste leaked yet again from Philex Mining's gold mine in Benguet last week, the second such incident in less than a month.

Philex vice president Mike Toledo says the waste spillage occurred Thursday last week after heavy rains, but was contained the same day.

It was the same waste facility involved in an August 1 mining spill incident.

"Talagang napakalakas ng ulan, pag iyong i-check sa Pag-asa weather bureau ang records, you'd be surprised the amount of rainfall in the past few months are way, way beyond the normal. Very strong ang epekto nito kaya nagkaroon ng slight discharge again na natigil naman po," Toledo said.

But Toledo says Philex is continuing its repairs and is finding a permanent solution to the problem.

The first leak discharged waste water, slime, minerals and metals that reached the Balog river, a tributary of the Agno river, one of the country's largest.

But Toledo says fish samples taken by both Philex and government scientists showed the mine tailings were below levels considered toxic.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have yet to conclude their investigation into the leaks.