U.S. Water News Online
TORONTO -- A massive spill at a copper mine in the Philippines will cost one of Canada's biggest mining companies about $40 million, according to company spokesmen.
Placer Dome, Inc. said costs linked to the spill will mean the gold and copper producer will take a big hit on its second-quarter profits statement.
"Our reputation is what's at stake here," company spokesman Hugh Leggatt said from Vancouver.
Place Dome owns 40 percent of the Marcopper mine on an island south of Manila. Officials shut down the mine in April after a drainage tunnel in its containment pond collapsed, discharging millions of tons of liquified waste into two rivers.
While Placer Dome is the minority shareholder, the Vancouver-based company is shouldering the cost of cleanup and repair, Leggatt said. "We're really paying the whole shot for this, because our name is connected to it," he said.
But shareholder values will likely suffer. Placer Dome will probably report a loss in the second quarter because of the $40 million bill, Leggatt said. The company expects to pay $15 million in repairs and cleanup. The bill also includes $4 million owed to Placer Dome that it doesn't expect to see again.
Placer Dome president John Willson said the company "has repeatedly expressed regret" for the spill, which has put about 800 miners and other Marcopper employees out of work.
Last week, the Philippines government revoked an environmental clearance certificate at the Marcopper mine and announced its intentions to file criminal charges against three of the mine's officials.
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