Press "Enter" to skip to content

Apex Mining’s hands not totally clean in Masara landslide: IDIS

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group believed that Apex Mining Corp. should still be held accountable in the Barangay Masara, Maco landslide even after being cleared by a government agency.

Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) said that despite the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) XI’s report that Apex Mining’s activities did not factor into the earth movement, the environmental hazards linked to the mining operations must not be discounted.

On Feb. 13, Beverly Brebante, MGB XI chief geologist, said the active mine was a kilometer south of the landslide area. She also stressed that one of the factors was the heavy rainfall the region experienced due to the shear line weather system and the trough of the low-pressure area since last month and the first week of February.

Based on the 2021 Report on Economic Assessment and Ore Reserve Estimation of Maco Epithermal Gold Deposits commissioned by Apex, Davao de Oro was classified as Type IV in the Modified Corona’s Classification System. Meaning, there is an increased likelihood of slope instability and erosion in the area, and a landslide risk is set to escalate with climate change and continuous activities in the area.

The same report also emphasized the presence of a prominent fault lineation that extends from Sandy-Masara-Bonanza and continues in a northwest direction. This indicates that the region is prone to geological hazards which elucidates the High to Very High susceptibility to landslides as determined by MGB.

MGB XI also officially classified Barangay Masara as a “no-build zone” in 2008 due to the pattern of landslides. It was reported that the series of landslides in Masara caused at least 10 deaths in 2007 and 24 deaths in 2008.

Apex Mining uses an underground mining method in its operations, this method disrupts the stability of rock and soil layers, hence increasing the likelihood of landslides.

Despite the reports and declaration of MGB XI, IDIS said Apex continues building its facilities and operations. Although the landslide area is not actively being operated on, it is still within the premises of Apex Mining’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA 234-2007 XI).

As per Sec. 5, DENR Administrative Order No. 2000-98, mining companies shall, “prepare an emergency response preparedness program for reasonably foreseeable industrial and natural disasters.”

IDIS claimed that if Apex followed the said mandate, the recent landslide should have been prevented, but instead, Apex disregarded these regulations and constructed their bus terminal in an area that was officially designated as a NO-BUILD ZONE.

“The continuous operation of Apex mining is extremely questionable given the very high susceptibility of the area to hazards. They cannot claim ignorance about the very critical nature of the area as evidenced by their own reports and the declaration of the DENR-MGB XI,” the environmental group stated.


Powered By ICTC/DRS