Mindanao mining in a fault line

ANTIPOLO City, Nov. 5, 2010—A coalition of environmentalists have expressed concern that a large mining company in Mindanao will be digging a hole on a fault line.

Environmental alliance, Defend Patrimony! Alliance and the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (KPNE) feared of a catastrophe in the making when the groups found out that Xtrata Queenslad Ltd. And Indophil Resources’ Tampakan mining project will be excavating on a fault line.

Catherine Abon, a geologist from the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) said the proposed area of excavation traverses a fault line and it poses a big risk to the stability of the mine tailing pond that will be built.

Based on the studies conducted by NIGS, the Tampakan mining site is traversed by the Philippine Fault and the Cotabato Fault.

“The deposit lies within the Cotabato Fault Zone, a west-northwest trending strike slip fault zone said Abon. The presence of faults in the proposed mine site presents a danger in the facilities that will be constructed for the mine operation such as tailings pond dam,” said Abon.

Located in the boundaries of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani Province, the Tampakan open-pit mining project is expected to produce at least 13 million tons of copper and 15 million ounces of gold, annually. It is said that the Tampakan Mining Project, so far, is the biggest mining project in the Philippines at U$5.2 billion worth in investments. (Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews.com)