Zambales mining firms ordered to pay P3.2-M indemnity to farmers
MANILA, Philippines—An interagency government body has ordered three mining firms operating in Zambales to pay indemnities totaling some P3.2 million to farmers adversely affected by their projects.
Leo L. Jasareno, chair of the Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund Steering Committee, said the CLRFSC issued last month a resolution approving the compensation to 30 farmers.
Jasareno said their farms in the towns of Sta. Cruz and Candelaria were inundated with nickel laterite from the mines operated by Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc. and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc.
Jasareno, who is also director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, said the CLRFSC approved the award of farmers’ claims based on the report of the Regional Investigation and Assessment Team created by the MGB’s regional office in Central Luzon.
He said that the computation of the amount for damages was based on the impact areas and river systems draining the contract areas of the said mining companies.
“The total amount of compensation for damages, as agreed upon, shall be distributed among the said companies considering the weight of the contributory factors that caused damage to the farm lots,” he added.
Earlier this month, Jasareno said the MGB has allowed the Siana gold mine in Surigao del Norte to resume operations by lifting a cease and desist order (CDO) that was issued following damage to a tailings pond in the area.
Australian firm Red 5 Ltd., whose Philippine affiliate Greenstone Resources Corp. operates the mine, said in a statement that the lifting of the CDO came after the regulator inspected the site “to verify completeness” of the construction activities identified by the MGB as preconditions for a resumption of mining activities in the area.
The MGB issued Greenstone an order to suspend its milling operation at Siana on June 6, 2013. Four months later, the company requested for the agency to lift the order through a letter dated Oct. 18.
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