|Entrance to JGMC mining camp. - Photo by chrisbegoode|
By AP HERNANDEZ
MINER Johson Gold Mining Corp has temporarily ceased its operations in Mambulao to allow the company to “re-evaluate” and fix its mine wastes pond to avoid accidental discharge of its gold tailings into the environment.
This was revealed to MWBuzz by Mayor Ricarte Padilla a few days ago.
“Naka stop po ang operations nila ngayon … yan for an info ko … inaayos nila ang tails pond nila,” Padilla said in a message relayed to this online newsletter.
MWBuzz has gathered that Johson’s vice-president Jason A Marcelo was in Mambulao a few days ago to inspect the mine’s waste disposal facility at its camp on the mountainsides at Baranggay Bagumbayan.
This came after an MWBuzz report on the worsening mine waste pollution at Mambulao Bay allegedly caused by gold mining operations around Mambulao.
Johson’s mining camp is just about a kilometer away from the bay.
Marcelo, along with his associates, paid a courtesy call to Padilla, and also to know the status of their request from the municipal government to endorse its application for renewal of its gold mining claims in Mambulao.
“Once they have complied with all regulatory requirements from the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), that is the time we could endorse their (mining claims) renewal application,” Padilla said.
“Meaning pag na satisfy nila ang regulatory requirements ng DENR, that is the time they can get ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate), then that ECC will be the basis of our endorsement for their mining claims renewal.
Among the many requirements under the law is the provision of an effective waste disposal system to protect the environment around the site of operations.
Apparently, the municipal government does not feel confident on the integrity of Johson’s mine tailings pond that it continues to refuse endorsing the miner’s request for an environmental certification from the government.
Under the Mining Act, the expiration of mining claim held by a gold operator would also mean that all its mining activities would have to cease.
To continue operation would be a violation of the law.
Marcelo’s reaction was not immediately available.