|Marcopper Dam in Sta. Cruz, Maridnuque|
Marinduque, a farming and fishing area, is also known for the March 24, 1996, Marcopper mining disaster. A break in a mine tailings pit drainage outlet caused toxic mine waste to wash into the Makulapnit-Boac river system, covering one entire village and causing the evacuation of 20 others. The Boac became unusable, destroying the livelihood of most of the population, which was also afflicted by zinc and copper bodily residues. A 2005 lawsuit against the company, Placer Dome, has lingered on for a decade. Placer Dome is now owned by Barrick, which has operated in Nevada for decades. Mining operations in Marinduque have ended. The case came to Nevada with Marinduque arguing that “jurisdiction is proper in Nevada through piercing Barrick’s and PDI’s corporate veils.”
The corporation sought dismissal of the suit in Nevada, saying that it should be heard in Canada. Marinduque asked that if the case was dismissed in Nevada, the dismissal should be conditioned on the case being heard in the Philippines. Neither the district nor the Nevada Supreme Court agreed, and the case was dismissed.