Mining Conversations Continue

DIPOLOG CITY – Almost 100 mining stakeholders composed of local government officials, local business chamber officers, community members and church leaders are gathered here today for a one-day Fundamentals of Minerals Development (FMD) seminar.

Said forum is the fourth of a series of conversations with mining stakeholders in Mindanao spearheaded by the Coalition for Responsible Mining in Mindanao (COREMin2) in partnership with the University of the Philippines Department of Mining, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.  The first FMD was held late last year in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. Davao City and Koronadal, South Cotabato hosted the FMD in January and February 2011, respectively.

Topics covered are meant to introduce the concept and applications of responsible mining in the Philippines.  It also aims to dispel unfounded accusations about large scale mining that have been perpetrated by the wittingly misinformed anti mining groups.  The FMD serves as a venue for the public to raise their concerns and/ or ask questions about mining and get the reliable answers straight from competent learned professionals.

Below is the list of topics and their respective resource persons:

Minerals and Industrial Development/ Minerals and Metals in our Daily Lives – Engr. Louie Sarmiento, Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association President

Understanding the Geological Wealth of the Philippines – Engr. James Jun Hernando, District Geologist, TVIRD

The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 – Engr. Larry Heradez, Chief, Mining Tenements Division, MGB Central Office

Mining and Metallurgy – Engr. Ramil Mundo, Site Manager, Sibutad Project of Philex Gold Philippines

Mining Benefits – Engr. Rodolfo Velasco, Chief, Mining Environment and Safety Division, MGB Central Office

Environmental Management and Protection – Virna Baguio, Sr. Science Research Specialist, MGB Region IX

Two representatives from mining communities in Sibutad (President of the Parish Pastoral Council) and Siocon (member of the Subanon Tribe) gave first hand testimonials of the impact of mining operations in their lives, debunking common impressions that large scale minerals development is dirty, destructive and dangerous.  From what they have shared, they see the mining companies as genuine partners of their communities.

The next mining conversations (FMD) will be held in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay next month.  Interested?  Leave a comment and your contact details.

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Kudos!

Letters To Mindanao congratulates four member-companies of the Coalition for Responsible Mining in Mindanao (COREMin2) for receiving various recognitions during the 57th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference held in Baguio City last month.

Sagittarius Mines, Inc. was bestowed with the prestigious Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for mineral exploration category, its fourth PMIEA citation since 2004 for overall excellence in operating with the highest regard to the environment, safety and health of its people, and the welfare of the community.  

 TVI Resources Development (Phils.) Inc. was conferred the PMIEA Platinum Achievement Award for Surface Mining Category.

The PMIEA was established under Executive Order No. 399 issued in 1997 to promote the national policy of pro-environment and pro- people minerals development.  The selection committee is headed by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with the secretaries of trade and industry, interior and local government, health, and science and technology as members.  The private sector is represented by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (co-chair), Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association and Philippine Mineral Exploration Association.

For multi-sectoral initiatives against occupational and environmental hazards in mining and its related operations, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau recognizes the safest mines in the Philippines that have successfully promoted greater consciousness among government, mine management, and labor to minimize, if not totally eliminate, disabling injuries to the thousands of workmen, while simultaneously protects and enhances mining environment.

Using safety and health compliance data, field validation and overall safety performance, the MGB awarded the Safest Mineral Processing (Extraction Category) to Apex Mining Corporation, the Safest Exploration (Category B) to Sagittarius Mines, Inc. and Safest Mineral Processing – Runner up (Concentrator Category) to TVI Resources Development (Phils.) Inc.

In the same event, the DENR also conferred recognition to mining companies for establishing mining forests within specified areas as part of the expanded “Adopt a Tree, Adopt a Mining Forest Movement”.  The Best Mining Forest Award recognizes mineral firms’ excellence in the management of mining forests, specifically in the areas of development, nursery operations, maintenance and protection, biodiversity consideration, and quality of community involvement,  research  and information campaigns.

Under Exploration Category, this year’s Best Mining Forest was awarded to Sagittarius Mines, Inc. with Silangan Mindanao Mining Corp, a subsidiary of Philex Mining Corporation as third runner-up.

In the metallic category, Philex Mining Corporation (Padcal Operations) and TVI Resources Development (Phils.) Inc. were adjudged first and third runner up, respectively.

These wins only prove that (1) minerals development can be conducted in a strictly responsible manner and (2) Mindanao mining companies lead as models of responsible minerals development in the Philippines.

Kudos and padayon!