Urban tailings vs mine tailings

Among the commonly-cited reasons why many people dislike mining and quarrying in general and large-scale metallic mining in particular, are the mine tailings — or mining dumps, slimes, tails, residues that look ugly and discolor rivers and seas.

Urban tailings, or upland farm tailings or mud, coming from Pasig River and its upland tributaries like portions of Laguna Lake and Marikina River, down to Manila Bay, below. Photo from JB Baylon.

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Compare it with Rio Tuba River, Bataraza, Palawan. Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. is mid- to upland of this river. Mineral ore extraction is happening 24/7 so long as it’s not raining. No mine tailings. I can’t find my photo of the river when I was in Rio Tuba some four years ago, so am using this one from http://acquezongeophoto.blogspot.com/2016/08/rio-tuba-river.html#

min rt river
Below, this was an active mining area where earth-moving equipment like huge tractors, bulldozers, backhoes and trucks were working. It was surrounded by previously mined out areas that have been rehabilitated and later planted with many forest species, or dried up mine tailings pond, waiting to be rehabilitated and reforested.

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A big painting on the wall of one of the buildings inside the company compound. The various awards received by the company out of its 3 decades plus in operation.

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A big clubhouse inside the company compound. The compound is privately owned in Barangay Rio Tuba proper and outside the mining claims.

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It is true that not all big mining companies are doing the above shown responsible mining practice. Public pressure should be turned on them so they will become responsible miners too.

Government, regardless of administration succeeding each other, should respect contracts and the rule of law. Those irresponsible firms based on objective and scientific criteria and tests, should be penalized, from fines to temporary closure, while those that obey the rules should be left alone to continue their business and job creation.

And government should enforce the law on rehabilitation of mined-out areas to all players — big, medium, small or artisanal mining, no exception. Making exceptions means government is not serious in its environmental-protection function.

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