The exploitation of a country’s mineral resources can only be justified if it does not irreparably damage the environment and if it benefits the community and the nation as a whole. This is beyond all argument. The mine tailings spills that occurred at Lafayette Philippines Inc.’s polymetallic project site at Rapu-Rapu Island in Albay on October 11 and 31, 2005 must be looked at from this solitary and singular perspective. Accordingly, it is necessary to objectively assess the effects and environmental impact of those spills, determine whether such environmental incidents can be realistically prevented in the future, and then judge if the Rapu-Rapu operation – as designed and implemented – does not pose unreasonable risks of long-term environmental damage. These assessments and determinations must logically lead to the decisions to be made in this specific case, including the corrective actions to be taken and the penalties to be impocompany.