Remembering the Marcopper mine disaster on its 21st anniversary

The Marcopper Mining Disaster occurred on March 24, 1996, on the Philippine island of Marinduque, a province of the Philippines located in the Mimaropa region. It remains one of the largest mining disasters in Philippine history.

This disaster at the Marcopper Mines on Marinduque made headlines around the world.

Here is Marcopper’s timeline.

1969 – Marcopper starts operation of the Tapian open pit mines

1975 to 1991 – Marcopper dumps 200 million tons of mine tailings to Calancan Bay.

1990 – With the Tapian pit depleted, Marcopper opens a second open pit in San Antonio, converting the Tapian pit into a mine tailings pond.

1993 – The Maguilaguila dam, constructed to hold back contaminated silt from the San Antonio pit collapses, spilling toxic water and mine tailings into the Mogpog River.

1996 – A tunnel that connects to the Tapian pit containing 23 million tons of mine waste to Boac River.

2016 – The people affected by Marcopper’s unsound practices are still living around the dangers brought by the disaster.

2017 – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) detected leaks in one of the abandoned dams of Marcopper Mining Corp.

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Romeo A. Mataac, Jr.

Chief Correspondent at Marinduque News Network
Romeo is the founder and chief correspondent of MNN. Concurrently, he is a researcher in a leading global professional services company. Myong, as he is fondly called by his friends, is a true Marinduqueno by heart who loves travelling and exploring places.​

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