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Marvel at the Beauty of Man-made Biga Pit

Biga Pit is a man-made attraction located in Toledo City, Cebu. It is an open mining pit owned by Carmen Copper Corporation.

Source: Cebu Channel Online

Ever wondered about being in places like Canada’s Moraine Lake, with its beautiful backdrop of snow-capped mountains, rich and evergreen foliage, and blue and pristine lake waters?

With the exception of snow and a swimmable lake, there is such a place right here in Cebu. Located in the city of Toledo, Biga Pit has been making rounds on the internet since mid-decade for its picturesque view and the controversy surrounding this man-made beauty.

Biga Pit in Toledo

Biga Pit is a quarry turned local attraction in Toledo City. It is one of the three open mining pits at the Toledo copper mine and is owned by the Carmen Copper Cooperation. The other two mining pits are Carmen and Lutopan.

Source: Lake Bensis and Biga Pit FB page

The place covers 1,676 hectares and consists of metallic mines which were started in 1995. Bombs that are recovered from areas in the province are detonated here. Biga Pit serves as the mill tailings storage facility that is underneath the lake, which explains the turquoise hue of its waters. The tailings are the materials left after the elements are extracted from the ores.

Controversy

As with any mining location, there are environmental issues concerning Biga Pit and the company that owns it. About 800 hectares of the land are used for active mining operations while about 200 hectares are used for reforestation efforts.

On December 21, 2020, the ground zero of Carmen Pit, the second of the three open mining pits, collapsed. This caused the death of 4 miners, and 6 others are still missing. The safety of the company’s workers as well as the residents near the area were questioned, leading to the evacuation of the people and the suspension of all mining activities.

The bluish appearance of the waters of the lake is also believed to be the mining corporation’s disposal waste. It has a pH level of 7.5 to 8 – safe enough for fish like tilapia to thrive but not for swimming.

What to remember when visiting Biga Pit

Biga Pit, despite its popularity as a local sight in Toledo, is not actually open for public viewing. You have to obtain a special permission to get in. 

Only those who are visiting for educational reasons or from institutions of related fields like geo-science will be allowed to enter.

You may also have to contact the authorities of the site if you are interested in taking a private tour of the area. It will help if you are connected to anyone from the top management for easy access. Those who are only paying a recreational visit will be denied entry.

As the area is hot, bring items to protect you from the sun’s heat like sunglasses, umbrellas, sunblock, and lots of water. Be responsible and keep in mind that since the place is a quarry, it is not entirely safe so always be careful.

How to get to Biga Pit

To get to Biga Pit, you have to commission a habal-habal driver to take you there. A ride will cost you roughly Php100 to 200+ per head, depends on how you transact with them. You would usually find them in Tabunok Market or outside the headquarters of Carmen Copper Corporation.

Dealing with these drivers is usually kept under wraps since entry to Biga Pit is really strict and requires certain authorization.

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