Corporate News

Philex Mining slapped with additional fines

Posted on January 24, 2013 05:39:50 AM | BREAKING NEWS

THE GOVERNMENT has imposed additional fines totaling P92.8 million on Philex Mining Corp. for polluting Balog and Agno rivers in Benguet as a result of its tailings spill in its Padcal mine in August last year, the troubled miner said in a disclosure this morning.

Philex Mining said it received a copy of the resolution of the Pollution Adjudication Board, dated Jan. 18, ordering it to pay the amount “within 15 days from receipt of this order" at the central office of the Environmental Management Bureau.

The disclosure quoted from the resolution, which described the P92.8 millon as “the initial amount of fines imposable as of 28 Nov. 2012”, involving three violations.

The same resolution ordered the miner “to cease and desist from operating and using” the tailing pond involved, which was damaged by heavy rains brought by two storms in August last year.

“This order shall remain in effect until Tailings Pond No. 3 shall have been completely restored and its structural integrity ensured, as confirmed and certified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB),” the disclosure quoted the resolution as saying.

The latest fine adds to the P1.034 billion the MGB had ordered the company to pay by Feb. 19 as penalty for the same accident.

Philex Mining shares lost 10 centavos or 0.55% to 17.98 apiece when the bourse went on its mid-day recess.

The miner is partly owned by Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., which also has a stake in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.