Toledo City – At least four people were killed last week when a gold and copper mine they were working suffered a landslide, burying them under tons of debris.
Six of their colleagues remain missing.
As a result, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) was constrained to order the indefinite closure of the Carmen Pit, which is owned by the Carmen Copper Corp (CCC) to ensure the safety of the workers and facilitate the speedy investigation of the accident.
Accordingly, Toledo City Mayor Marjorie Perales reportedly declared the perimeter zone a no man’s land and ordered some 2,000 persons living in the vicinity to leave immediately after geologists discovered numerous ground cracks which could cause another landslide.
Suffice it to say, the stoppage of operations in Cebu’s biggest mine will come at great cost to the local economy in terms of tens of millions of pesos in lost taxes and revenues, not to mention the financial hardships to thousands of workers whose jobs will be placed in limbo.
CCC, which is a subsidiary of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., said rescue operations are still in full-swing, but did not reveal the identities of the victims.
The accident was supposedly triggered by the heavy rains in recent months which waterlogged the soil in the mine causing slippage.
CCC’s open pit mine in Barangay Lutopan was formerly known as the “Carmen pit.” It was named after the late Carmen Logarta, the daughter of the late Judge Miguel Logarta.
Judge Logarta, who was Cebu’s very first magistrate during the Spanish era and mentor of former Philippine President Sergio Osmena Sr., was the original owner of the property.