The Watershed and Water Resources and Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) hosted a collaborative meeting intended to develop a program for the rehabilitation of degraded mined areas and mine effluents of Philex Mining Corporation (PMC) in Pacdal, Tuba, Benguet on May 31, 2019 at the WWRRDEC Conference Hall, Loakan, Baguio City. The meeting was an offshoot of the reconnaissance survey in the subsidence area and siltation ponds of PMC that took place on May 14, 2019.
The meeting was attended by representatives from PMC headed by Ms. Marie Aurora S. Dolipas, Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement Officer, faculty researchers from BSU headed by Jhomee Fe F. Sapitan, Ph.D. and WWRRDEC personnel headed by Ms. Helen A. Maddumba, Center Head.
Dr. Sapitan mentioned the technologies that can potentially be used to treat the exceeding sulphate levels in the waste water of PMC. Some of the technologies Dr. Sapitan discussed were precipitation, membrane filtration and bioremediation. The suitability and cost efficiency of these technologies for the case of PMC mine tailings were the targets of the BSU research. Moreover, For. Rhandy S. Tubal, WWRRDEC Research and Development Section Chief, presented a project proposal entitled Rehabilitation of Subsidence Area of Philex Mining Corporation, Pacdal, Tuba, Benguet which has three (3) study components. These study proposals were intended to revegetate and restore the ecosystem functions in the subsidence area of PMC through suitable vegetation and soil amelioration treatments. The subsidence area is a sinking land area caused by the block-cave method used by PMC in extracting copper concentrates containing gold, copper and silver. This subsidence area is continually back-filled to level the ground resulting to disrupted soil structure and function which hinders the survival and growth of pioneer flora species.
The researches discussed in the meeting collectively aimed for sustainable management of watershed resources in the affected area. PMC intends to build strong partnership with local researchers in the rehabilitation of PMC Pacdal Mine that is bound for closure in 2022. Erika C. Flora, WWRRDEC