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Tampakan copper project’s smaller mining footprint?
The Tampakan copper project, located in the southern Philippines, has been a topic of controversy for years due to its potential environmental impact. However, recent developments suggest that the project’s mining footprint may be smaller than previously anticipated.
The Tampakan copper project is a joint venture between Sagittarius Mines, Inc. and local partner Tampakan Group of Companies. The project aims to extract copper and gold from a vast deposit located beneath the mountains of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao del Sur.
The project has faced opposition from environmental groups and indigenous communities who fear that the mining activities will destroy the region’s biodiversity and disrupt the livelihoods of local communities. The project was also put on hold in 2010 due to a ban on open-pit mining imposed by the local government.
However, in 2019, the Philippine government lifted the ban on open-pit mining, paving the way for the Tampakan copper project to proceed. The project’s proponents have since then been working to address the concerns raised by stakeholders and minimize the project’s environmental impact.
One of the ways the project’s proponents plan to reduce the mining footprint is by using a block-caving method instead of open-pit mining. Block caving involves creating a large underground cavity and allowing the ore to collapse under its weight, which is then extracted through tunnels. This method is less disruptive to the surface environment and can result in a smaller mining footprint.
Another way the project’s proponents plan to minimize the environmental impact is by implementing a comprehensive environmental management plan. The plan includes measures to protect water resources, manage waste, and mitigate the impact on biodiversity. The project’s proponents have also committed to engaging with local communities and providing them with economic opportunities.
While the Tampakan copper project still faces opposition from some groups, the project’s proponents are confident that they can address the concerns raised and proceed with the project in a responsible and sustainable manner. The use of block caving and the implementation of a comprehensive environmental management plan are promising steps towards reducing the project’s mining footprint and minimizing its impact on the environment and local communities.