LEGAZPI CITY – The 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the Province of Masbate on August 18, 2020 has alerted the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. V (MGB R.O.-V) RD Guillermo A. Molina, Jr. IV to conduct a rapid assessment on the adverse effects of the earthquake in the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) of Masbate Gold Project (MGP) located in Barangay Puro, Aroroy, Masbate to ensure the safety of the people in the said Municipality.

A team composed of technical personnel from this Office and DENR-V was activated to conduct the two-day assessment. The said assessment was done visually with the help of mapping and surveying instruments. Further, site observations were recorded and documented through field notes and photo documentation.

Based on the field observation and review, the following are the findings and conclusions of the said team:

  1. That there was no apparent damage by the August 18, 2020 earthquake as observed in the TSF, particularly along the dam crests, downstream embankments, and upstream embankments;
  2. That the several Early Warning Devices (EWDs) installed in strategic positions within the TSF site indicated no sudden movement of the TSF. These EWDs come in form of survey markers and standpipe piezometers that monitor physical changes that may lead to movements within the TSF and for potential structural instability; and
  3. That the water level at the TSF is inferred at 52 meters above sea level, as indicated by the 7 meters freeboard at the time of inspection there has been no on topping of the dam.

The team recommended the hiring of a reputable third party expert to conduct a detailed geotechnical investigation to further assess the structural stability and integrity of the TSF.

The activity is a safety protocol observed by the Office in relation to its mandate to promote responsible mining.