BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — A mine in Mankayan, Benguet province, has stopped operations following an explosion on Monday that crippled its power transmission lines, police said.
Police are investigating the blast at the mine operated by the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. (LCMC) that disrupted work at its power plant and mill, and affected some houses in Sitio Nayak in Barangay Sapid in Mankayan, said Supt. Cherry Fajardo, spokesperson of the Cordillera police in Camp Dangwa.
LCMC has informed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau about the work disruptions. MGB is waiting for the police report before it undertakes its own investigation.
Senior Supt. David Peredo, Benguet provincial director, said initial investigation has shown that the blast might have been caused by communist rebels but the police have not ruled out other suspects.
Mankayan Mayor Materno Luspian said the blast did not affect the rest of the town. “Only the power supply of the mining company is affected because the transmission line for the villages is separate from the one that was bombed,” he said in a text message.
In a statement, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which operates all the power transmission lines, has said it does not own or operate the Mankayan transmission tower.
“We only operate the La Trinidad (Benguet) to Sagada (Mt. Province) 69-kV transmission line traversing through [Mankayan] which is in normal operating condition,” said Lilibeth Gaydowen, NGCP spokesperson for north Luzon.
LCMC, a major gold and copper producer, has operated its Benguet mines since 1938. SFM
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