Bottom ponds are constructed or developed to ensure the containment of mine surface water within the active and disturbed mining areas and to minimize the volume of mine water run-off flowing to the low lying siltation ponds within the mining project and impact areas.

Citinickel has clarified that its mining operation is unrelated to the recent flooding that occurred in some barangays in the municipality of Narra during the onslaught of heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon enhanced by typhoon Maring.

The mining firm further clarified that the mine surface water flows straight into its number of bottom ponds through mine drainage canals.

In a statement released by the mining firm on Tuesday, Citinickel stated that it sympathizes with the bereaved families who were victims of the flooding in the town and cooperates with the barangay council for the continuous extension of relief efforts to evacuees.

However, it explained that the flooding event occurred about 10 to 40 kilometers from the host town of Barangay Bato-Bato, which is home to the Citinickel Toronto Nickel Mining Project.

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The affected barangays, it said, were Aramaywan, Burirao, Batang-Batang, Princess Urduja, Caguisan, Malinao, Panacan, Elvita, Dumanguena, Bagong Sikat, and Ipilan are among the barangays impacted.

“Makikita ninyo ang maayos, pare-pareho at matibay na benching at masinop na riprap o stone works kontra erosyon ng lupa. Nariyan din ang Progressive Mine Rehabilitation o pagtatanim ng mga endemic species na puno tulad ng Agoho at Narra sa lugar na tapos nang minahin,” CMDC said.

The mining company said that for every tree felled, one hundred trees are planted in accordance with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Special Tree Cutting Permit (STCP).

“Nariyan din at inyong makikita ang ‘bottom ponds’ kung saan ang lahat ng tubig sa aming binuksang lugar sa bundok ay dinadala at iniimbak ng mga mine canals at drainage system. Sa ‘bottom ponds’ tumatakbo ang tubig tulad ng dala ng pag-ulan kaya walang baha sa ibaba o sa komunidad,” it stated.

“At ang mga naiipon na tubig na iyan sa “bottom ponds” ay aming kinokolekta sa pamamagitan ng water trucks at siya naming ginagamit pandilig sa mine haul road at mine pit upang maiwasan ang alikabok. Masinop at ligtas na pamamaan na ito ng pangangalaga ng tubig at ating kalikasan,” the mining firm added.

The CMDC issued the statement after some netizens expressed their displeasure on social media, blaming mining operations in southern Palawan for the widespread flooding.

The mining firm described the accusations as “baseless allegations” that are unsupported by facts.

“Sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon na ito, na higit pang bumibigat, dahil sa mga maling akala, naliligaw na kaalaman, at masasakit na salitang walang basehan, ay nais naming magbigay ng aming pahayag na nakabase sa tanging katotohanan lamang upang mailagay sa tamang konteksto at maiparating sa lahat ang tunay na sitwasyon o pangyayari,” CMDC stated.

The CMDC joined the rescue and relief operations along with the municipal and provincial disaster risk reduction and management offices of Palawan and the municipality of Narra, it said. 

It also extended hot meals, and relief goods such as rice, coffee, milk, instant noodles, canned goods, and even freshwater for domestic use in evacuation centers.

“Makakaasa po kayo na ang Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, bilang isang lehitimong project contractor ng Republika ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), ay lubos na iniingatan, nirerespeto at ginagampanan ang kanyang mga tungkulin at obligasyon sa Republika, sa Konstitusyon, sa komunidad, sa lipunan at higit sa lahat sa ating kalikasan. Tanging hangad po namin ang kabutihan ng lahat,” the mining firm stressed in the statement.

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