In the Philippines’ volatile mining sector, OceanaGold appears to be hitting the mark and winning points at its Didipio Mine operations.

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Didipoi Mine. Image ©OceanaGold

As reported by the local Philippines media, the fast-growing population in the upland mining village of Didipio in Kasibu town, Nueva Vizcaya, has prompted OceanaGold to provide it with a P37-million water system.

The natural spring water is the main source of the community’s drinking water as outlined in OceanaGold’s 2017 Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee report, Water Resource Study for Barangay Didipio.

With this, OceanaGold, which operates the Didipio Mine, is working with the community for the construction of the P37-million Didipio Water System Project (DWSP) due for completion in 2019.
According to OceanaGold, the DWSP will include water storage, treatment and supply infrastructure that would provide the community with safe, potable water; with the system capable of providing water for up to 11,000 individuals or about 2,400 households.

While the nature of the mined ore at Didipio allows for extraction using grinding and flotation processes with water, OceanaGold has reported not using cyanide or mercury for gold and copper recovery.

The mine tailings generated from the processing plant are stored at the tailings storage facility (TSF) while the water from the TSF is further processed in the water treatment plant, which is an automated facility.

He said that using a flocculation and coagulation process, the water storage plant significantly reduces total suspended solids to 70 parts per million (ppm), well below the government standard for Class D water at 150 ppm.

A purpose-built paste-backfill plant, where approximately 30 to 40 per cent of the mine tailings are mixed with cement and used as backfill material for the underground voids, which reduces the volume of tailings delivered to the TSF, was also constructed.

Didipio’s TSF is constructed to standards that exceed Philippine guidelines and meet International Commission on Large Dams (Icold) guidelines, and the Category High C Australia National Committee on Large Dams (Ancold) guidelines.

The Didipio Mine also minimises the use of freshwater resources by recycling process water. In 2018, the Didipio Mine successfully commissioned the Didipio Water Recycling and Purification Plant, which treats sewage water.

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