Former mine area soon Baguio’s garbage dump

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Itogon, Benguet: The former Antamok surface mine here will soon serve as an engineered sanitary landfill and waste-to-energy facility after the mine rehabilitation plan of Benguet Corporation (BC) and its development partner, Goldrich Natural Resources Exploration and Development Inc., was approved by the City government of Baguio and the Municipal government of Itogon.

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BC Executive Director Isidro C. Alcantara, Jr., Goldrich President Jaime A. Paredes, Jr., Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, and Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan signed a memorandum of agreement for the project.

The agreement obliges BC to turn over to Goldrich the portions of the Antamok properties that are actually needed for the landfill and waste-to-energy project as well as to allow the developer access through the company’s surrounding properties for the entire economic life of the project, which was set at an initial 25 years with an option to renew the agreement for another 25 years.

BC, however, will retain ownership of the Antamok properties and shall have access for purposes of conducting operation and repair and maintenance activities in its underground facilities and other mine structures located in the area.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) still has to approve the project as part of the mine rehabilitation program of Antamok.

BC was among the mining firms suspended last year by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for allegedly failing to carry out rehabilitation work in its mined-out areas in Itogon.

Under the agreement, Itogon is obliged to dispose all its garbage at the Antamok project.

Baguio is also obliged to deliver and exclusively dispose at the Antamok project at least 300 tons of its waste and shall pay tipping fees.

The developer Goldrich is required to arrange financing for the Antamok project, plan, develop, design, build, test, and commission the project, implement the project and its related facilities.

The Antamok project, BC said, is the mine rehabilitation plan to be implemented in the affected areas under the final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan approved by the MGB.

BC said that once implemented, the Atamok project will effectively address the solid waste management requirements of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area pursuant to the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

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