Respect for and protection of the environment in which we operate is a critical requirement for all responsible mining companies, and King-king Copper-Gold is no exception. We commit to the community to adhere to the highest standards of environmental management.

During this study phase of the project, we are assessing the current state of the environment throughout the King-king mining tenement. This involves significant efforts to test and document water quality, weather patterns, soil stability and other environmental factors. We are also documenting flora and fauna on the site and determining the effect that other activities, principally unauthorized small-scale mining, had and continue to have on the environment. Chief among these is the tremendous amount of silt, mercury and cyanide deposited into the King-king and Lahi rivers and their tributaries, and from there into the Gulf of Davao.

Creating an environmental baseline will provide us with information we need to develop the mine and associated facilities in an environmental responsible manner, and to create programs to reclaim degraded areas. For example, replacing the current small-scale mining activities with a modern larger-scale mine will mean major improvements to the quality of the King-king River.

As we develop the King-king Copper-Gold Project, we commit to the following:

  • We will assess and address potential environmental risks and impacts associated with the project over its full life cycle – including pre-development, construction, operation, closure and post-closure.
  • We will comply with applicable governmental environmental laws and regulations, and meet or exceed international industry practices to avoid, minimize, mitigate or remediate environmental impacts.
  • We will communicate the importance of these environmental protection measures to our employees, contractors, suppliers, investors, partners, community members and other stakeholders.
  • We will review the effectiveness of environmental protection and management programs, and act on the results, to achieve continual improvement in the Company’s environmental performance.
  • We will use resources efficiently and promote the most-efficient technologies in the company’s operations.

Environmental Impact Assessment

King-king Copper-Gold is in the process of documenting and assessing the physical and social environment at and around the locations of proposed Project facilities. This work consists of an environmental and social baseline study, a Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and an International Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (I-SEIA). Work is being done by a variety of Filipino specialists in conjunction with international experts.

The EIS is required under Philippine environmental regulations and will support the Project’s application for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The ECC is needed before the Project can go into production.

The I-SEIA is being prepared consistent with the World Bank/International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the derivative Equator Principles, which have been adopted by international banks for environmental and social review of project financing proposals.

The EIS and I-SEIA identify the potential social and environmental impacts of the Project’s proposed operations, as well as outlining mitigation strategies for addressing any impacts. Areas of potential impact studied include:

  • Socioeconomic environment
  • Visual impacts
  • Air quality
  • Water quality and aquatic resources
  • Vegetation and wildlife
  • Soils and land use
  • Noise and vibration
  • Transportation

Effects of Small-Scale Mining

Small-scale or “artisanal” mining is practiced throughout the Philippines. It implies mining activity by individuals working in many cases with just hand tools and little to no safety equipment, and who are not employed by an organized company. In the Pantukan area, small-scale mining over the years has caused significant damage to vegetation, erosion of hillsides and degradation of water quality in the King-king River and other waterways. Cyanide and mercury, used in the gold-refining process, are routinely flushed into the rivers.

Several thousand small-scale miners are estimated to be working on the steep slopes around Pantukan. Small-scale miners, living and working on these slopes without authorization, can pose a serious risk to themselves and their families. Despite repeated warnings about the significant dangers, they continue to mine for gold to provide a livelihood for their families.

Sometimes, the consequences of small-scale mining activity can be severe. A landslide incident in the King-king village of Pantukan on Good Friday 2011 claimed the lives of more than a dozen miners. In this case, as with previous slides, the frequent heavy rains in the area combined with highly eroded slopes and resulted in devastating consequences.

The King-king Gold & Copper Project is very aware of the issues surrounding small-scale mining in the King-king mining area and is working closely with government agencies, community organizations and the miners themselves to explore and implement solutions to this dangerous and unsustainable practice.