Open-pit mines can’t trigger earthquakes: MGB

MANILA— Open-pit mining cannot induce fault movements or earthquakes, a Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) official said in a press conference on Friday.

MGB Mining Technology Division chief, Engineer Teodorico Sandoval, made this comment in the wake of the concerns on social media blaming mining activities such as open-pit operations on the occurrence of earthquakes.

“The source or the generator of the earthquakes are the so-called faultlines located in parts of the Philippines,” he said.

The safety of mining operations was put into a discussion after the series of powerful earthquakes and aftershocks jolted areas in mainland Mindanao last month.

He added that blasting an open-pit mine would not affect the fault movement underneath to trigger an earthquake or any geologic activity.

“It would not be possible that an open-pit operation would be the source of the earthquake, a fault movement requires a large amount of energy, so the open-pit mining is not possible to generate or provoke temblor,” he said.

“The mechanism of the earthquakes involves the release of pressures from the faultlines, which is the tectonic movement that is happening in our country,” he added.

Former environment secretary Gina Lopez previously imposed a ban on open-pit mining through Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2017-10.

In October 2018, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) recommended the lifting of the ban.  Lade Jean Kabagani / PNA –