The Philippine government has suspended the operations of its largest gold mine, the Padcal facility, following last week's waste spillage.
The Padcal mine, which produces 150,000 tonnes of copper and gold concentrates per day, will be closed indefinitely until after a government investigation gets to determine the extent of the spill and its cause, Leo Jasareno, head of the government's Mines and Geosciences Board, said.
A Zimbabwean miner works underground at Metallon Gold mine in Shamva about 80 km (50 miles) north of the capital Hararre, June 14, 2011.
"It is currently suspended indefinitely," he told AFP.
Mr Jasareno likewise said the government has dispatched a joint investigation team from the MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau) and EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) to the site over the weekend to assess the impact of the spill, a report by news portal www.bworldonline.com said.
Last week, the Philippines was battered by heavy rains from Typhoon Saola, a probable cause which led to the break in the tailings pond of the mine.
Philex Mining Corp., owner of the mine, on Saturday said the leak had been plugged.
The tests would determine the extent of environmental damage, if any, Mr Jasareno said.
"It will be a technical assessment. The team will take samples of the waters around the area to test for impurities, among others," Mr. Jasareno explained. The results will serve as basis for possible imposing sanctions, he added.
Philex Mining Corp. had earlier said the spillage contained only water and sediment, "non-toxic and biodegradable."
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