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NAC-CMC: Helping communities rise from the Covid-19 pandemic
by Philippine Resources - December 09, 2020
NAC-CMC donated PHP1 million for the construction of a Molecular Testing Laboratory (MTL) in Surigao del Norte to boost the province’s detection capability.
By: Sarah Mae M. Palacio
As the world is facing a historic crisis brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the economic impacts of the pandemic is felt around the world—especially among far-flung communities that have limited access to government services.
In Dinagat Islands, Cagdianao Mining Corporation—a subsidiary company of Nickel Asia Corporation—is stepping up the plate to respond to the needs not only of its host and neighbouring communities but around the island-province as well.
Notably, NAC-CMC sprung into action even before the pandemic was declared in mid-March. Here are some of the activities, programs, and projects initiated by the company since January this year. January After health authorities announced the first infection in the country in late January, NAC-CMC rolled up its sleeves and conducted a series of information and education campaign to equip our communities with vital knowledge on how to prevent themselves from being infected with the virus. Through the guidance from reliable authorities such as the World Health Organization and the Department of Health, the company taught community stakeholders basic health protocols to avoid catching the virus, such as proper handwashing, basic étiquette when sneezing and coughing, and social distancing. The company also prohibited the selling of goods to the foreign vessels that were coming in as a precaution.
February Just as when the public was only beginning to understand the severity of the virus, NAC-CMC already formulated strategies and precautionary measures to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in its mine site. This proactive thinking has earned praises from no less than Dr. Jillian Francis Lee, the Provincial Health Officer, who praised the company for immediately instituting wide-ranging health protocols against Covid-19 across its operations.NAC-CMC was one of the first companies to comply with the health protocols mandated by the Bureau of Quarantine, MARINA, the Philippine Port Agency, and the Department of Health. March When the first local transmission was detected in the country, quarantine restrictions became more severe, impacting businesses and causing job losses and economic displacements especially among the poor. Local governments implemented drastic movement restrictions and lockdowns to respond to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
The province of Dinagat Islands was not an exemption, ordering the stoppage of operations and banning of entry of foreign vessels into the mining sites. NAC-CMC was not spared, and the jobs of its nearly 2,000 employees were on the line. Community-assisted livelihood groups were also in danger of losing much-needed financial support.
However, NAC-CMC’s foresight and proactive health measures that were put in place early on have paid off. Seeing its commitment to preventing the entry of the virus and its desire to help communities and assist the local and provincial governments to fight the virus, the Provincial Government gave the green light for the company to continue its mining operations.
At this point, the company further intensified its Covid-19 containment measures by installing care and containment centers in its mine site while putting in place systems and procedures to ensure that its employees, contractors, and its communities are protected. For instance, incoming stevedores and employees were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, supervised by the company’s owned physician and health personnel.
Impressed by its readiness and forward-thinking initiatives, Governor Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao personally visited the company’s containment center together with the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to certify the company’s capability in handling the Persons Under Monitoring (PUM). She also praised the implementation of ship loading protocols on the prevention of the spread of the virus.
At this time, NAC-CMC is on full-throttle rallying the people to further ensure that the company and the community are protected from Covid-19. No less than Dr. Alvin Pura, the company physician with Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor, the Resident Mine Manager, led the series of information and education drive among residents and village officials in host and neighbouring communities as well as the employees to ensure that all the health measures in place are complied with at all times. Engr. Milaor and Dr. Pura also reassured all stakeholders that the company will continue providing assistance to boost the Covid-19 response of both the local and provincial governments.
April A major part of the company’s response efforts focused on providing its communities with the basic necessities, amid the lockdown and restriction movements that made it difficult for people to access food and other essential services. To strengthen its Covid-19 response, NAC-CMC turned over a Heavy-Duty Isuzu Truck worth PHP1.5 million to the Municipality of Cagdianao. The truck improved the town’s mobility in responding to crisis situations and aided it greatly in its relief operations. Mayor Adolfo E. Longos said, “the service truck is very useful especially that the local government unit has many programs and activities to combat COVID-19, particularly in the distribution of relief goods to the 14 barangays of Cagdianao and serves as service vehicle during emergency cases.”
In the following week, the company also handed over a Service Ambulance to the Municipality to address emergency cases at a time of the pandemic.
June Data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Caraga, CMC has disbursed over PHP3 million from its Social Development and Management Program or SDMP and PHP 1.3 million from its Corporate Social Responsibility. Most of these funds went to food supplies such as rice, bangus, canned goods for host and neighbouring communities, personal protective equipment to the medical front-liners, survival garden kits to 1,300 households that included short-term seeds.
A special project for the province was also donated by NAC-CMC for the “Katre-Karpintero” program of Governor Kaka consisting of 150 beds intended for all the seven municipalities in the province. The project also benefited carpenters and construction workers from various municipalities who were tapped to work for the project.
More notably, NAC-CMC also donated PHP1 million for the construction of a Molecular Testing Laboratory (MTL) in Surigao del Norte to boost the province’s detection capability. The other companies involved in the project are NAC sister-company Taganito Mining Corporation and the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation.
July – Present NAC-CMC’s commitment to assist its communities in all fronts continues to this day. The company continues to provide both the province and local governments the necessary assistance to combat Covid-19 through the provision of rapid test kits, PPEs, hand washing devices, and medicines. It has also provided regular supplies of rice and other necessities to the provincial care and containment centers, helping farmers and local suppliers in the process.
As of October, CMC has spent PHP6,354,020 from its Social Development and Management Program (4,516,141.04) and Corporate Social Responsibility (Php 1,837,879.16).
These and all efforts that began even before the pandemic have greatly resulted in NAC-CMC maintaining its status as a Covid-free mine site, while helping barangay, municipal, and provincial governments in their pandemic response. The company commits to sustain these initiatives as long as the situation requires, in keeping with its mission to make mining an important partner in community development—especially in times of crises.
“CMC is in unity with the LGU of the Province and the National government down to Local Inter-agency task force (IATF) in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in its workplace and the community where we operate. CMC successfully implemented its 3 level infectious disease prevention by strict adherence to 14-day quarantine of the foreign vessels, acquisition of entry permit issued by PDI and health inspection of CMC medical staff of all vessel's crew. For the protection of our host and neighbouring communities, we provide necessary assistance such provision of sanitation kits, regular IEC, house to house health inspection and sanitation, among others.” Engr. Milaor assured.
Philippine Resources - December 14, 2020
Gold BCR (GBCR): Blockchain Technologies with Junior Mining Companies
Gold BCR (GBCR): Building an empire of enduring wealth based on innovative blockchain technologies with junior mining companies. In this new era, modern science and innovation technologies are changing rapidly every day. Innovative new disruptive technologies ideas in mining are now meeting together with blockchain. These new disruptive technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, new online retail, big data, social media, sharing economy, financial technology, convenience applications have all begun to come in succession, bringing a trend of dynastic change. Driven by innovation these new economic development models have shaped the way we are living life today which has been dominated by the internet industry. Every time a disruptive technology emerges, there will be markets that will shake as the change occurs and new economic models will supersede old economic models. As the saying goes "the fittest shall survive". No matter big, small and medium-sized enterprises, they must stay innovative and face the harsh test of economic changes and adapt, and only then "survive and thrive."The great inventor, Thomas Edison once said: “science needs imagination, and innovation is the key to invention.” Planes and high-speed trains have realized the exaggerated imagination of our ancestors that “a thousand miles will be travelled to and fro in one day". The invention of video communication that seems like travel through time and space, so that people can be” as close as neighbours” even if they are thousands of miles apart. In this modern era, if we can combine centuries-old traditional industries with science and technology, and add innovative ideas, everything may become a reality.Gold BCR - (GBCR) is the world's first blockchain mining project to be backed by real gold from mining companies in Australia and is looking for other miners who may be interested in collaborating in PNG and the Philippines. For More Information, go online to www.goldbcr.io
Philippine Resources - February 28, 2019
Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC) turns over Soft-shell Crab Project
Nickel Asia Corporation - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC), represented by ComRel Manager Antonio B. Resuera Jr., has turned over soft-shell crab project to three (3) indigent families of its host community last November 27, 2018. The project location is at Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang, Barangay Talavera, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte. Beneficiaries of the said project are Rosita G. Sandico, Cristine C. Baguinaon and Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. They were selected as beneficiaries of the project based on the Local Socio-Economic Profile conducted earlier as part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to contribute to a brighter future for its people and its communities. The beneficiaries are also not part of any People’s Organization (POs) in the host community. Rosita G. Sandico and Cristine C. Baguinaon reside in Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang while Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. lives at Brgy. Talavera.“Nagpasalamat kami sa amoa nadawat na proyekto gikan sa livelihood program sa NAC-HMC. Daku namo na kalipay ug kinasing-kasing namo nga pagadawaton kining proyekto nga soft-shell crab project”, (we are thankful for receiving this project from the livelihood program of NAC-HMC. We are very happy and are wholeheartedly accepting the soft-shell crab project awarded to us) said Rosita G. Sandico.She further added that, “daku kini na katabang alang kanamo, ilabi na sa among panginabuhian, ilabi na sa akoa na senior citizen na man. Nalipay kaau ko kay isa ako sa nakadawat ani na proyekto. Amo gajud kani ampingan ug palambuan aron aduna kami mapanginuhaan alang sa among panginabuhi. Sa maka usab, daghan salamat sa inyo tabang kanamo NAC-HMC” (This is a big help to us, especially on our livelihood, especially to me who is already a senior citizen. I am very happy to be selected as one of the project recipients. In return, we will try our best to take care and develop the project in order for it to be sustainable and become a steady source of income for our livelihood. Once again, I am very thankful for the help you have given us NAC-HMC).Representative of Host and Neighboring Communities (RHNC) Chairwoman and Brgy. Talavera Councilor Eulita C. Borja who was also present during the turn-over ceremony reminded the project recipients to not take for granted the project provided by NAC-HMC, saying that, “to the project recipients, please take care of the project provided by NAC-HMC as it will be helpful to your livelihood.”She was also thankful to NAC-HMC for the support it provided the residents of the host community particularly in livelihood, “Thank you for the help and for the care you have shown to the residents by helping them with livelihood projects such as this, thank you NAC-HMC for the support.”Additional supplies for the care and maintenance of the soft-shell crab project were also provided by NAC-HMC to project beneficiaries to help ensure the success and sustainability of the project. As part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to assist its host community, technical experts from the City Agriculturists Office (CAGRO) of Tagum City were also tapped for the project’s implementation. They were also the ones who helped in establishing the soft-shell and crab fattening pilot projects in the mine site of NAC-HMC.
Philippine Resources - September 06, 2019
GHD opens new office in the Philippines
Gracing the opening of GHD’s third office in the Philippines are Darren Shrives, General Manager – Philippines, Steven Robinson, AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, and Ian Fraser, General Manager – Asia Pacific.“As we head towards 75 years of formal diplomatic ties, we continue to strengthen the deep and broad connections between Australia and the Philippines,” Steven said. The new office is located in Quezon City, a rapidly growing business hub located north of the Philippine capital, Metro Manila.Darren shares, “Quezon City is home to many of our key clients in the Philippines, so our proximity to them helps us collaborate better. Aside from this, our new office forges our commitment to provide a better and more accessible workplace to our staff.”GHD’s local teams worked on the biophilic design of the new office. It is has approximately 120 working stations, four meeting rooms, and several collaboration areas. Aside from encouraging staff to interact freely within the area, the overall design of the new office has an "outdoor" feel, as evident in the textures/elements of its interiors.
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Philippine Resources - April 12, 2021
Masbate Companies Win PMIEA Awards
In the recently concluded 2020 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA), the Masbate Gold Project's two companies, Filminera Resources Corp. and Phil. Gold Processing & Refining Corp., won four awards in the Best Mining Forest and Safest Mine categories. PMIEA recognizes mining companies that demonstrate best practices in safety and health care, environmental conservation, and community sustainability. Filminera was awarded the Platinum Achievement Award in Surface Mining Operation Category by the PMIEA Selection Committee, as well as the Titanium Achievement Award in Mineral Exploration Category and the Safest Mineral Exploration – A Category. PHL Gold, on the other hand, won the PMIEA Titanium Achievement Award in the Mineral Processing Category from the PMIEA Selection Committee. Both organizations have active initiatives aimed at environmental protection, ecological sustainability, and advanced land use planning. The reforested and rehabilitated areas are now home to a wide variety of flora and fauna habitats as a result of these upland and coastal reforestation activities. Apart from promoting sustainability through conservation projects, the companies have also aided social growth in the local areas through a variety of livelihood initiatives. Fast-growing and natural forest tree species were used to revegetate the Syndicate Waste Dump, which was undergoing restoration.
Philippine Resources - April 12, 2021
Mining Industry Anticipates Receiving a ‘Passing Score' on the EITI's Transparency Validation.
The Philippines' Chamber of Mines (COMP) expressed hope in completing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation process, which began on April 1, 2021. The validation is an evaluation of adopting countries' willingness to follow EITI requirements, and it is the second to be completed since 2017. The countries will be graded on three aspects of the validation process: 1) stakeholder engagement—involvement of all government, business, and civil society stakeholders 2) transparency—requirements for accountability, such as a beneficial ownership registry; and 3) results and impact—addressing national interests in natural resource governance. The EITI Board is scheduled to report the final outcome of the validation in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Philippines was found to have made "satisfactory progress" in the first validation in 2017, making it the first EITI adopting country to reach such status, according to COMP. The industry remains committed to the EITI benchmark, with 95 per cent of active mines filing their accounts, according to COMP Executive Director Ronald Recidoro. “The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines looks forward to the validation. We hope to still be at the forefront of this transparency initiative just as we were in 2017 under the old standard,” he said. COMP member-companies, at the very least, had been doing disclosure monitoring on their own, according to Recidoro, even before it became mandatory. “We have done a lot to move transparency reporting in the Philippines, including reporting on gender, environmental protection, etc., which is only now being made mandatory under the new standard,” he said. The validation, according to Bantay Kita, a civil society delegate to the Philippine EITI Multi-Stakeholder Community (PH-EITI MSG), is an opportunity to address problems in adopting the EITI and how it can be more applicable at both the national and sub-national levels. “Over the past months, the PH-EITI MSG has been working to gather all evidence to show progress in the Philippines. All stakeholders, not only civil society, have contributed to communicating EITI data and initiated outreach activities from local communities to policy-makers,” Vincent Lazatin, national coordinator of Bantay Kita, said in a news statement. “Stakeholders involved in the validation process would be honest and able to articulate what really is happening on the ground with the transparency initiative of extractive industries in our country. Beyond aiming to be on top, the one of greater value is knowing the real score, the PH-EITI’s actual situation, and how we can perform better,” said Aniceta Baltar, a civil society representative to the PH-EITI MSG. “The validation looks at how it continues to execute its mandate, and at what level it does. It also gauges what positive impacts the initiative were able to bring across to its constituents and stakeholders,” she added. When pressed for more details, Recidoro stated that COMP, as a founding member of the PH-EITI, is committed to continuing to participate in the validation process. According to him, the 2019 EITI validation standard includes additional provisions such as documentation on gender and environmental spending, as well as the contentious question of beneficial possession (BO). “The PH-EITI has been reporting on gender and environmental expenditure since 2012, so we are ahead of the curve in that regard. We piloted beneficial ownership reporting last year,” Recidoro said. However, he said, “BO reporting will still need some work.” “We need SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] to take the lead on this so that it doesn’t become redundant,” he said. “There are also concerns about data privacy,” Recidoro added. He clarified that the EITI requires businesses to report ownership information, but that this is already being done with the SEC. When it comes to BO news, Recidoro believes the SEC needs to establish a consistent policy or set of guidelines. “Beneficial ownership disclosure is already part of the annual general information sheet [GIS], but the issue now is publication. SEC does not make that beneficial ownership disclosure public because of data privacy concerns,” he explained. The GIS is an annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which businesses report on their specific corporate details and shareholders, among other things. Every year, businesses must send a different GIS form containing their organizational results, according to Recidoro. “Since last year, that GIS now has a beneficial ownership report portion. The GIS is available for download with the SEC, but the BO portion is redacted. Because of data privacy concerns,” he said.
Philippine Resources - April 12, 2021
Miners, government outlook bleak on Philippines' role in EV metals supply chain
Despite being the world's second-largest nickel producer, the Philippines' capacity to engage in the development of a global battery metals supply chain is severely restricted due to a shortage of facilities and stringent policies, as the country's mines bureau and mining industry both agree. "While the Philippines is a top nickel ore producer, we only have two existing nickel/cobalt processing plants that produce nickel and cobalt sulfide concentrates — intermediate products that are further processed in Japan to make electric vehicle batteries," Rocky Dimaculangan, vice president for communications at the Philippines' Chamber of Mines, or COMP, said. Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Wilfredo Moncano reiterated the view of COMP, saying the Philippines "can participate in the supply of battery metals but it will be limited to the capacity of two mineral processing plants in the country put up by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd." "Although the country is a top supplier of nickel as export, most of these or about 70% are exported as raw, directly shipped ore and has not undergone mineral processing," Moncano said. According to Moncano, the bureau has sent a request to Congress that would require current and new players to construct mineral processing plants that would manufacture finished and semi-finished materials. Some gold and copper mines in the United States have already built processing plants, and Moncano said the bureau hopes to see nickel and iron ore mines follow suit. "This initiative needs legislation by Congress because MGB cannot obligate these companies to do it without a law. A resulting consequence to this one is the gradual and partial ban of raw nickel and iron ore exports as well as Congressional support for the needed infrastructure like additional electric power plants, and the reduction of power cost because it requires billion dollars to put up a medium size mineral processing plant," Moncano said, noting that electricity costs are very significant in mineral processing. Domestic power prices are among the highest in the ASEAN region, on par with Singapore, according to the Department of Energy's Power Development Plan 2016-2040, owing to the absence of government subsidies, which are present in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Miners in the Philippines had planned to benefit from Indonesia's ban on nickel exports, which will take effect in 2020. However, current environmental constraints will preclude the Philippines from fulfilling China's nickel production requirements in the absence of Indonesia, according to Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research unit, driving Chinese primary capacity down from a projected 715,000 tonnes in 2020 to 490,000 tonnes in 2025. "Larger policy issues ... remain unresolved, particularly the ban on open-pit mining and the moratorium on new mining projects until a new mining tax scheme has been put in place," Dimaculangan said. A prohibition on open-pit mining remains in effect in the Philippines, as does a restriction on new mining licenses before a new tax system is enacted. "To encourage the building of extremely expensive mineral processing facilities and manufacturing plants for EV batteries as well as for clean energy and renewable power projects, the industry needs full government support in terms of stable mining and investment policies that do not change mid-stream," Dimaculangan said. If the obstacles are overcome, the mining industry may be a crucial sector in the country's post-pandemic recovery, according to the COMP and the MGB. "It stands to reason that if policy problems are not immediately resolved, the Philippines will remain an unattractive mining destination and will most definitely fall short of its tremendous potential to participate in this worldwide trend towards mineral-intensive renewable power generation and battery storage technologies," Dimaculangan said. "Otherwise, and this would be most unfortunate, the Philippines will, so to speak, miss the boat again." For the time being, COMP sees the Philippine government's decision to authorize at least 26 new mining ventures that had been shut down by former Environment Secretary Regina Lopez to restart operations as a positive move for the industry. Dimaculangan also expressed hope after the government decided to renegotiate the terms of its financial and technical assistance deal with OceanaGold Corp., the owner of the Didipio gold-copper mine in Quirino province. "Once they are onstream, these projects will undoubtedly help increase the country's exports and the industry's contribution to our GDP," Dimaculangan said.