Mine operator updates environmental monitoring plan

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

The companies initiated a zero sewage discharge by vacuuming retained water in response to the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences order for Riverbend/ANRI to improve environmental 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 Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Mines and Geosciences, Bureau of Environmental Management, Provincial Bureau of Environment and Natural Resources and Community Bureau of Environment and Natural Resources visited the site to monitor ongoing cleanup and construction of new infrastructure to improve the mine site’s ability to handle exceptional rainfall.

“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 monitoring improvements already in place, we are seeing significant progress in the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts and are confident that similar events will not happen again,” said Josue Lapitan, President and CEO of ANRI.

Riverbend/ANRI also immediately provided food aid to affected residents. A cash-for-work program is underway, with affected family members hired to help with clean-up efforts and the planting of bamboo along rivers and other strategic areas to prevent erosion.

“We would like to express our sincere apologies to all members of the affected communities and assure them that their well-being is of the utmost importance. We are working as quickly as possible to clean up the affected rivers and thus reduce the inconvenience to them,” Lapitan said.

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