Philex’s tailings dam failings highlight ineptitude of corporate legal team

Adverse publicity surrounding the failings of Philex Mining’s (PX:PM) tailings dams in the Philippines attest more to the shortcomings of its corporate legal team than shoddy operating practices in developing countries.

Jack Caldwell points out on his blog that Philex had obtained a raft of ISO certifications demonstrating its commitment to responsible mining operations, and that the deleterious effects of publicity surrounding problems with its tailing dams, including a 32% share dive, should instead be imputed to failings on the part of its legal reps.

The point of all this is that their lawyers fucked up and let all this news get out. The real and only difference between this company and other mining companies is that their lawyers are incompetent. Most modern mining companies have lawyers who are able to stop new reports of this type from getting out and being blogged about. I have three in my back pocket that I cannot write about because skilled and vicious lawyers succeed in what they are paid plenty to do.

Caldwell also points out that Philex’s problems put the lie to the myth that modern tailing dams are infallible, and that ‘sanctimonious pronouncers’ would do better by ‘explain(ing) the difference between Indonesia and Alaska (Pebble Mine) in non-racialistic, non-societal terms.’

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