A Philippine court has ordered a mining company to pay damages to 30 people for negligence in a 1996 dam burst that was one of the country's worst mining disasters, a verdict cheered by environmentalists and the industry. The court in Marinduque ruled the plaintiffs must be paid 300,000 pesos (USD 5,734) each, plus a share of 1 million pesos for exemplary damages. The case was filed in 2001 by residents in the island province of Marinduque, who sought compensation after a typhoon caused Marcopper Mining Corp's Maguila-guila dam to burst, submerging nearby communities and destroying property, crops and livelihoods. The Marcopper Mining Disaster occurred on 24 March 996, on the Philippine island of Marinduque, a province of the Philippines located in the Mimaropa region. It remains one of the largest mining disasters in Philippine history. The incident made mining a highly contentious issue in a country with vast underdeveloped mineral reserves.Marcopper, which folded after the incident, had denied liability and negligence in its maintenance and operations of the dam, according to the court decision. It was not immediately clear who would pay the compensation. Marcopper's parent company, Placer Dome, was acquired by Canada-based Barrick Gold Corp in 2006, which absorbed its workforce and projects.The Philippines is currently the biggest nickel ore supplier to top metals buyer China.