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Open pit mining accepted globally

Manila, Philippines – The opposition to open pit mining is not shared by countries in which it is the accepted method for extracting minerals. A review of mining literature showed that more than half of the operating mines in the world have adopted this method that Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) said is used in four mines operated by Xstrata Copper in other countries.

SMI, managed by Xstrata, noted that open pit mining is also preferred by minerals companies since it poses lesser risks than block caving that could collapse and lead to landslides and mudslides. Two open pit mines for Xstrata Copper have been approved in Chile and one in China, with the governments of the two countries convinced about the solidity of the company’s capacity to reduce environmental hazards and safety risks during operations.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has extended by two years the exploration permit of SMI and the results of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) conducted by Aecom Philippines have been discussed in consultations with stakeholders in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat; Tampakan, South Cotabato; Malungon, Sarangani, and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur in the past two months. Open pit mining is not banned under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. (Marvyn N. Benaning)