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Monday, June 24, 2024

Mine operator upgrades environmental control plan

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Riverbend Consolidated Mining Corp. and operator Arc Nickel Resources Inc. constructed an additional 13 settling ponds, started building two mega dams and installed silt curtains in strategic points in Davao Oriental to prevent silt from going to the sea.

The companies initiated zero discharge of wastewater by suctioning of impounded water in response to the order by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for Riverbend/ANRI to enhance environment control systems to prevent a repeat of the discoloration and siltation incident in the Mapagba and Pintatagan rivers in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.

Inspection teams from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office and Community Environmental and Natural Resources Office visited the site to monitor the ongoing cleanup and the construction of new infrastructure to improve the mining site’s capacity to handle exceptional rainfall volume.

“Upon discovery of the unfortunate incident, we immediately implemented measures to address the discoloration and siltation of the Mapagba and Pintatagan rivers. And with the prescribed environmental control improvements already in place, we are seeing significant progress in the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts and are confident similar occurrences won’t happen again,’ said Josue Lapitan, president and chief executive of ANRI.

Riverbend/ANRI also immediately provided food assistance to the affected residents. A cash-for-work program is ongoing, with members of affected families hired to help in the cleanup efforts and the planting of bamboos along the sides of the rivers and other strategic areas to prevent erosion.

“We would like to express our sincere apologies to all those in the affected communities and we assure them that their welfare is of utmost importance. We are working as fast as we can to clean up the affected rivers and thus lessen the inconvenience to them,” said Lapitan.

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