Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, September 19, 2008

Zambales vice gov bats for responsible mining

IBA, ZAMBALES – Zambales Vice Governor Anne Gordon said mining companies should practice responsible mining in the wake of the tragedy in Compostela Valley where mining activities appeared to have contributed to the landslides that left scores of people dead early this month.

Asked by environmentalist groups here regarding mining operations in Zambales, Gordon cited the strict monitoring being done by the provincial government on mining firm operations as she expressed concern over the hazards posed by unchecked mining activities on the environment and communities near mining sites.

There are currently eight mining firms operating in Zambales. These are Benguet Corp., Acoje Mining Company, A3 Una Mining Corp. Eramen Minerals, Inc., Chrom Mining Resources Corp., all in Sta. Cruz town, the Saprolite Mining Inc. in Botolan, and the Consolidated Mines, Inc. and Zambales Chromite Mining Inc., both in Masinloc.

The vice governor said mining firms should address environmental concerns while the government should keep a close watch on protected areas and make sure that these are not settled by villagers.

"We have to ensure that people are out of harm’s way and the provincial government of Zambales is taking no chances when it comes to the safety of people in mining villages," said Gordon.

She added that that the provincial leadership is very particular regarding the impact of mining activities in the ecosystem.

"There is always the possibility of accidents and environmental degradation given that mining is a high-risk activity. That is why Governor Amor Deloso formed Task Force Kalikasan in order to keep mining operations in check.

"Tragedies can be avoided and the damage to the environment can be contained if we all act responsibly," Gordon stressed.

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