Thursday, March 24, 2011

Placer Dome & Marcopper: Out of sight, out of mined

Out of sight, out of mined from Oxfam Australia on Vimeo.



Some years ago, I was invited by MACEC (Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns), to watch this documentary on the problems caused by the Marcopper mine tailings spill that happened 15 years ago today. The film was first screened in Australia to mark the start of the APEC Mining Ministerial in Perth in 2007. Produced by Oxfam Australia, the documentary entitled "Out of Sight, Out of Mined", and apparently referred to how the mining company suddenly packed up and abandoned the mines, their responsibilities to the people of Marinduque and rehabilitation issues resulting from the disaster.

Looking further back...

It was the American Exploration and Mining Company, a subsidiary of Placer Development Limited of Vancouver, Canada which optioned the property in 1956, after recognizing the potential for a porphyry copper type orebody.

Exploration was done during the period 1957-1964, and geological mappings, diamond drillings, and finally surface and underground diamond drillings were done. In 1960, an agreement was made with Nippon Mining Company wherein Nippon would do the tunneling and drilling in return for a long-term sales contract when the property started production.

Tunneling and drilling were done by contract crews from Surigao Consolidated Mining sent by Nippon in 1960, until Pamex Mining Company, under a contract with Bezotte Drilling Company, took over the work from 1962 to 1964. A total of 141 holes were drilled with an aggregate driven length of 16,850 meters and 6,400 meters of underground drifts, cross cuts and raises. From this, an orebody of 86 million tons of sulfide ore containing 600,000 tons of copper was established.

It was to be the Tapian open pit porphyry copper mine located near the geographic center of the island of Marinduque. It was only in January 1968 when the big push to get the mine into production started. In the middle of 1968, an all-weather road was built linking the port of Balogo, where a dock was constructed, with the minesite. Excavation for the mill and other plant buildings was also started.

By mid-October 1969, enough ore was exposed in the pit to sustain the 15,000 tons per day milling operation, and Marcopper Mining Corporation was born.

In November 1969, the initial shipment of 3,170.5 tons of copper concentrate was dispatched to Nippon Mining Company, Ltd. In Japan. Other shipments were later made to Korea, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, Germany and the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) in Leyte.

The original plan was to have an 18,000 tons per day milling capacity. After only five years of production, it was expanded to 30,000 tons per day. After almost 22 years of operation of Mt. Tapian, Marcopper produced 779.6 million kilograms of copper metal, 23.9 million grams of gold and 127.9 million grams of silver. At the eventual closure of Tapian in 1990, the San Antonio project was commenced.

The San Antonio copper orebody lies some three kilometers north of the Tapian mining complex. It has an estimated mineable reserves of 198 million tons of copper ore with an average grade of 0.44% Cu – equivalent to a potential 20-year mining life.
Actual construction of the San Antonio Project’s major facilities commenced in 1991. Management negotiated for a USD 40-million long-term facility needed to finance the project. Construction progressed despite delays in late deliveries, foundation modifications, heavy rains and labor problems.

With the accidental spillage of mine tailing from the old Tapian pit into the Boac River, the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history, the operation of Marcopper was closed down in 1996. A string of environmental issues that includes the threat of new dam collapse and health related problems in the affected communities remain unresolved to this day.

0 comments:

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

Date and Time

Blog Archive

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts

Blog Log

Followers

Networked Blogs

Space Weather

Space Weather
What's up in space

Categories

ACCOMMODATION Adeline Angeles ADVENTURE SERIES ALAIN MADRIGAL ALLAN VELASCO AMOINGON ARAW NG MARINDUQUE ARCHAEOLOGY Argao AWARENESS BAGTINGON Bahaghari BANTAY-KASO Barrick Gold BATTLE OF MASAGUISI BATTLE OF MORIONS BATTLE OF PAYE BATTLE OF PULANG LUPA BELLAROCCA ISLAND Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit Jr Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista BOAC BOAC CATHEDRAL BUENAVISTA BULONG Bunganay BUTTERFLY CAPITOL BUILDING CAPITOL CHOIR Cardinal Ricardo Vidal CARMENCITA REYES CAWIT PORT CBCP CEMETERIO DE TAMPUS CENSORSHIP CHANGE CINEMALAYA CLIMATE CHANGE COA Report COLONIAL HOUSES Conflict CONG. LORD ALLAN VELASCO CORRUPTION CORY AQUINO Curt Shepard DISASTER DONA PAZ DPWH DR. ANTONIO UY DTI DUTERTE EARTHQUAKE ECO-TOURISM EDSA Elections 2010 Elections 2013 Elections 2016 ELI OBLIGACION ENVIRONMENT EVENTS EXTREME MARINDUQUE FEATURED SITES GASAN GASANG-GASANG FESTIVAL GASPAR ISLAND GOV. BONG CARRION Guisian HEALTH HERMENEGILDO FLORES Hinanggayon HINULUGAN FALLS HOBIE HOLY WEEK JOSE F. ALVAREZ JOSEPH EMIL BIGGEL Joseph Laban JR LABRADOR Kalesayahan KALUTANG KURAY LAYLAY LETTER TO GOVERNOR LONGHINO Lorna-Quinto Velasco LUBANG FAULT LUZON DATUM OF 1911 Mabusay Falls MACEC MALINDIG Maniwaya Marcopper MARELCO MARINDUQUE AIRPORT MARINDUQUE AKIN KA MARINDUQUE CULTURE MARINDUQUE ELECTIONS 2013 MARINDUQUE FIRST SATURDAY MOVERS MARINDUQUE HISTORY MARINDUQUE HISTORY CONFERENCE MARINDUQUE INFRA PROJECTS Marinduque Politics MARINDUQUE STATE COLLEGE MARINDUQUE TOURISM MARINDUQUE VIDEO MARTIN LARDIZABAL MAXIMO ABAD MIMAROPA MOGPOG MORIONES 2009 MORIONES FESTIVAL Moriones Festival '10 Moriones Festival '12 MORIONES FESTIVAL 08 MORIONES FESTIVAL 09 MORYONAN MSC SAMBAYANG SINING LAHI MUTYA NG MARINDUQUE Myke Magalang NCCA NORWEGIAN MISSION ALLIANCE PASTORES PASYONDULA PASSION PLAY Paye PEOPLE PERCIVAL MORALES PH HISTORY PHILIPPINE ARTS FESTIVAL Places PNP Poctoy Beach Pope Francis Pork Barrel POWER OUTAGE Pres. Benigno S. Aquino PRESIDENT DUTERTE PRRM PUTONG RAMON MADRIGAL Raymond Go ROBERTO MADLA Romulo Bacorro Russel Madrigal SAKAMAR SAN ISIDRO CAVE Sangguniang Panlalawigan Sawi Sayao Bay SCUBA DIVING SEA TRAVEL SCHEDULES SEAIR SENEN LIVELO Silangan South China Sea SPACE STA. CRUZ STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS STTC ASSEMBLY Susong Dalaga Hill TARUG CAVE TEATRO BALANGAW TEOFILO N. ROQUE TON MONTEAGUDO TORRIJOS TOTO NEPOMUCENO Treasure Hunt TRES REYES ISLANDS TRIVIA Tumagabok Falls TYPHOON "FRANK" TYPHOON "ONDOY" Typhoon NinaPH VERDE ISLAND PASSAGE Vicky Lao-Lim VIVA MARINDUQUE 2008 VIVA MARINDUQUE 2009 VIVA MARINDUQUE REPORT WALANG SUGAT WEEKLY MARINDUQUE WEN VELASCO WORLD WW2 WW3 YESHUA YOOK

Quick news, photos, videos, culture, tourism, history and all that there is on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. "VIVA MARINDUQUE!" www.marinduquegov.blogspot.com

Marinduque Rising | www.marinduquegov.blogspot.com | (c) 2007. Powered by Blogger.