“It takes a lot of courage to go underground, lower than the sea level, purposely to see the workplace of the miners,” Director Lourdes P. Estioco remarked after her short underground experience at Lepanto Mining Consolidated Company on August 7, 2015.

DSC02425Still in awe, Director Estioco said “Mahirap pala ang buhay ng minero araw-araw. Dapat talagang malaki ang suweldo at benepisyo nila. Yong mga anak, dapat nilang makita kung paano magtrabaho ang kanilang mga magulanf, para hindi nila sinasayang ang pinagpaguran ng kanilang mga magulang.”

Lepanto Human Resource Manager Rolando Ursua , Supervisory Union President Esteban Pomeg-as and Employees Union Warden Lapaddic arranged the underground mine tour for the CAR staffs Maggie B. Balagtey, Limuel M. Garcia and Dir. Lourdes P. Estioco as a culminating activity of the “Lepanto LMC Reorientation and Enhancement Session” held at the mine site on August 6, 2015.

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Lepanto, a primary gold producer is engaged in underground mining which involves the excavation of tunnels and rooms called stope, beneath the Earth’s surface. Compared to surface mining, underground mining is expensive and dangerous.

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Lepanto Mining Company now opens the mine tour to visitors regardless of sex. In the past, women are forbidden in the underground on the traditional belief that women bring hard luck in the production of gold. However, this belief was gradually changed when women engineers and geologists were hired to join the underground mining operations.  Maggie B. Balagtey