Napocor may fine Philex P6.4-B over spill


The National Power Corp. (Napocor or NPC) has demanded Philex Mining Corp. to “immediately” remove the mine wastes from its reservoir, or pay over P6.4 billion to enable the power company to reinstate the area’s condition before the August 2012 tailing spill.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex Mining said that it has received a letter from Napocor in connection with the accidental discharge of mine wastes from its Tailing Storage Facility no. 3 at the Padcal copper-gold mine in Benguet.

According to Philex Mining, Napocor is demanding for the immediate removal of deposited 13.513 million cubic meters of mine wastes from its reservoir, or payment of P6.418 billion to enable the power company to remove the waste and to restore the reservoir to its condition prior to the incident.

Napocor, also, asked Philex Mining to pay P6.266 million per year for opportunity loss while the mine wastes were not yet removed from the reservoir, as well as the compensation for damaged vegetation in the amount of P1.04 million and penalty of P500,000.

Philex Mining, however, said that the Napocor letter does not specify the legal and factual basis, and does not provide any reasonable supporting detail for any of the demands.

The mining company said that it has requested Napocor to provide such information, stating that the failure to specify the legal basis, or to provide any reasonable supporting detail for any of its claim, prevents the company from “taking them seriously.”

“It would be grossly irresponsible for the company to accede to the unsubstantiated demands by NPC,” Philex Mining said.

“In any event, even if NPC’s claims all have valid legal and factual basis, as NPC’s claims consist of two principal monetary claims that are alternative, and not cumulative, the company’s ultimate liability in the event of nonpayment of the amount stated,” Philex Mining said.

The mining firm also said that it is of the opinion that Napocor’s claims are not material.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the company is still awaiting the NPC’s substantiation of its claims, and the company believes that the possibility liability to NPC is not material in the event the claims can be legally and factually substantiated,” it added.


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