Placer Dome's Ongoing Problems in the Philippines

During the visit of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Ottawa, she raised with Prime Minister Chrétien the issue of Placer Dome's sudden departure from the Philippines without fulfilling commitments made by the company to the Philippine Office of the President to clean up a Philippine river following a massive tailings spill in 1996 (see press release and backgrounder package on our web site).

Placer Dome suddenly left the Philippines in December 2001 leaving $13 million in an account under a secret agreement with former partner F Holdings who is to finish the river clean up. Now that partner is operating illegally by sandbagging tailings in the river without a permit. Placer's deal disrespects the wishes of the people of Marinduque who have been granted, by their Environment Department, the right to choose an independent scientific team (the United States Geological Survey) to assess the various clean up options for the river before any further work is undertaken.

Following her visit to Canada, President Arroyo agreed that the Philippine government would provide the money for the independent assessment by the USGS. Congressman Reyes, who accompanied President Arroyo, has written two letters to Placer Dome's CEO Jay Taylor outlining the province's grievances.