Saturday, September 3, 2016

Boac River: Copper residue shows in river water

by Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon
AMD flowing into Boac. Photo: Luna "Pongkoy" Manrique


SAN PEDRO CITY—The sight of bluish green water flowing through the Boac River in Marinduque province has raised suspicions of a high level of acid seeping from mine wastes left in the defunct Marcopper mining site.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region said it will test the river’s water quality this month, after the Boac town government, through its municipal planning and development office, called its attention to what was reported as an “acid mine drain” or outflow of acidic water from metal mines.

Buena Rioflorido, of the EMB Mimaropa, said the EMB conducts quarterly water quality tests, but samples are taken only along the 10-kilometer stretch downstream of the 27-km Boac River.

Acid mine drain

Rioflorido cited concerns over EMB employees’ safety in going to the headwaters, which is a four-hour hike to Barangay Hinapulan. The area is inaccessible to vehicles.

In a telephone interview, Luna Manrique, Boac planning officer, said town officials and residents noticed the water’s distinct color when they visited the headwaters on Aug. 17. The same condition of the water had been seen during visits by town officials in July 2013 and March 2015, he said.

Manrique said he believed the acid mine drain came from tailings piled at the Bol River dam, one of three dams of Marcopper Mining Corp. The other two are the Makulapnit and Maguila-guila dams.

Worst mining disaster

In 1996, one of Marcopper’s drainage tunnels gave way and unleashed about 200 million tons of mine tailings into the Boac River system. The spill, tagged as the worst mining disaster in the Philippines, forced the company to shut down as Marcopper and its parent company, Placer Dome, faced a string of class suits from the Philippine government.

Manrique said residents feared that the water could be highly acidic that they could no longer fish or bring their carabaos to drink water from the Boac River.


Warning from elsewhere.

‘Natural occurrence’

But Roland de Jesus, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, described an acid mine drain as a “natural occurrence,” especially in areas with large deposits of copper.

Copper ore, when submerged in water, becomes acidic giving off the bluish green color, he said.

“The [acid level] normalizes as the water flows downstream into the populated villages. It is diluted by freshwater from different tributaries, making it available for domestic use,” De Jesus said.

Site still intact

Even after the mining operations were shut down, the 100-hectare Marcopper mining site, complete with an airstrip, a hospital and housing facilities, has remained intact.

The compound is highly secured that even government agencies are barred from entering the site.

De Jesus said Marcopper, which operated in the 1970s, had not submitted a closure plan since its permit was granted before the enactment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7942).

Under RA 7942, mining companies are required to come up with a final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan and set aside funds for the rehabilitation of their host communities.


From Canat River area. Other causes? Photo: William Mirambil

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.