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TVIRD-Agata COVID-19 Response Brings Relief to 10,000 Families, Livelihood to Rural Farmers
by Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines – that brought the nation’s economy to a virtual standstill and left thousands confined to hospitals, stricken with the deadly virus – communities in Mindanao have benefitted from an unexpected partner that immediately and actively responded to the government’s call to unity: and that is the country’s mining industry, which continues to support countrywide development.
As of this writing, the industry has realigned some Php247 million of its collective Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds to provide relief for thousands of Filipinos in and around mining communities and close to 70,000 frontliners across the country.
Prior to the realignment of SDMP to support relief operations, TVIRD’s Agata Mining Ventures Inc. already dispatched various Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from Manila as part of its immediate response to the needs of medical frontliners in the Mindanao region.
TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) has facilities in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte; Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur; and the adjacent municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago in Agusan del Norte Province where its Agata Nickel Project is located.
To date, the TVIRD Group of Companies has shored-up critical PPEs: N95 face masks, face shields and surgical and examinations gloves to support COVID-19 frontliners, including LGUs, volunteers, medical workers, police and civilian volunteers as well as checkpoint personnel.
It likewise sourced majority of its fresh vegetable from farmers and other goods from local establishments to provide relief to more than 10,000 families in its respective areas. The group’s joint relief efforts aim to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has reached some 46 barangays consisting of its primary and secondary communities.
Supporting local livelihood
While an estimated one million jobs have been “lost” as a result of the nationwide community quarantine, the challenges of a lockdown are even more pronounced in the hinterlands where a single day of lost livelihood can make or break agricultural and fishing communities who rely on their daily access to the market place.
This is in addition to the challenge of putting food on their own tables for their families everyday.
Agata sought to bridge this need by sourcing organic vegetables from its TESDA-certified Mabakas Farm School and its graduates under the program. Together with its beneficiary farmers, locally-sourced ampalaya (bitter gourd), kalabasa (squash), okra, sitaw (string beans) and eggplants were included in relief packs – which were distributed to 2,647 families in its three host municipalities.
Recipients also included the company’s employees in the mine site and the indigenous Mamanwas who are themselves farmers who would have otherwise faced the risk of spoilage of their produce due to ECQ restrictions on transportation.
Over 11,000 kilos of assorted vegetables were included in more than 5,200 relief and vegetable packs distributed by the company – a testament that its production model under the Mabakas framework is sustainable.
TVIRD likewise rolled-out a weeklong food distribution program and reached-out to almost 7,424 families in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The company’s site personnel and officers sought to alleviate the residents’ difficulties by providing rice, vegetables, canned goods and noodles.
Special attention was also given to the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) since they are limited to their homes under the GCQ Protocol. Beneficiaries also include nearly 1,400 Subanen families and farmers from Bayog Municipality whose produce are included in the relief packs.
Frontliners in Zamboanga Peninsula
Through its Balabag Office, TVIRD contributed several boxes of PPEs to major government hospitals, rural health units and birthing clinics in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.
Beneficiary institutions include the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital, Wilfredo C. Palma Memorial Hospital in Diplahan, Rural Health Units (RHU) in the joint provinces, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Hospital in Pagadian City, and Siocon District Hospital – which also serves patients from its 26 barangays and nearby Sirawai and Baliguian towns.
“TVIRD backs the government’s campaign against the disease. We are one with the frontliners – and providing them with protection and food is our way of sharing their load,” said TVIRD Balabag Project Manager Engr. Hilario Gingo, Jr.
As the first company to be licensed under the Philippine Mining Law, TVIRD established its presence in the Zamboanga Peninsula some 25 years ago and has since fostered a deep relationship with its communities, especially the Subanon and Subanen tribes. The commercial operations of Agata marks the third consecutive project that TVIRD brought on-stream in a period of 10 years.
Today, TVIRD-Agata has cultivated strong and resilient communities, self-sustaining indigenous hosts tribe and over 1,300 graduates from its Mabakas Organic Farm School who are aligible for TESDA National Certification.
“‘Starting it right and keeping the end in mind’ has guided the company in achieving sustainable operations focused on progressive and final rehabilitation. By providing skills and infrastructure, we endeavour that our communities can sustain themselves beyond the life of the mine,” according to Agata Assistant GM Anthony Quijano.
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Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021
Taganito Mining Donates 7k Workbooks for Surigao Del Norte
As part of its commitment to support the education sector, Nickel Asia Corporation subsidiary, Taganito Mining Corporation, donated 7,172 workbooks to the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, in time for the opening of classes. The Php 2 million worth set of English and Mathematics workbooks is part of the company's Social Development and Management Program. The turnover of workbooks was led by TMC Resident Mine Manager Artemio Valeroso in the presence of Governor Francisco Matugas and Dr. Nelia Lomocso, the schools division superintendent of the Department of Education for Siargao, Surigao del Norte Division. In a certificate signed by Gov. Matugas, he thanked TMC “for the wholehearted support in the various undertakings of the Provincial Government which has been instrumental in the success of the Education Caravan School Year 2020-2021”.“NAC-TMC is one with the province of Surigao del Norte in helping our schools become ‘back-to-school ready,” said Valeroso“We are very happy and very thankful. We sincerely thank the Taganito Mining Corporation for this great donation. This will go a long way. The workbooks will be for the benefit of our learners in the island paradise of Siargao,” Lomocso said. Since 2015, TMC has been a partner of the province in the annual Education Caravan wherein various educational supplies such as books, bags, and health kits were distributed to students in Surigao del Norte as well as Siargao island.
Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021
Washing Worries Away with TMC’s Hand Washing Facilities
The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed schools all over the country to implement measures to reduce the risk of contracting the virus among students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole. In solidarity with this effort, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) volunteered to provide hand washing facilities to 29 schools within Claver, Gigaquit and Surigao City as part of its Social Development and Management Program.A total of 52 hand washing units were distributed to public elementary and high schools to support efforts to encourage frequent hand washing as a way to protect oneself from the COVID-19 virus. Rendering support during the yearly opening of classes has been an annual commitment of TMC to the education sector. While schools have turned to online and modular learning modes, teachers still have to report to school and parents need to pick up and submit accomplished modules of their children. Thus, as with other establishments, schools are required to install hand washing facilities at their entry points.Aside from donating to schools, TMC also gave out hand washing facilities to the local government units of the Municipality of Bacuag, barangays Binacoran and Villa Riza in Municipality of Malimono, and the Philippine Red Cross - Surigao del Norte Chapter.“They say, friendship is essentially a partnership…Thank you so much NAC- Taganito Mining Corp. For these two sets of Portable hand washing facility […] Quezon ES will be forever grateful to you.” – Ms. Maricar Tabacon Lisondra, teacher, Quezon Elementary School“Panatao Elementary School teaching staff, parents, and learners would like to thank Taganito Mining Corporation for the Improvised hand washing facility given to the school. Thank you so much for your continuous and never-ending support to our school.” - Ms. Judith S. Pere, Principal, Panatao Elementary School“Thank you so much Taganito Mining Corporation for sharing another blessing to Claver National High School. We, faculty and staff, learners and parents, are so grateful for your generosity.” - Rodelio Cortez, teacher, Claver National High School
Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021
Filminera and PhilGold Donate Over Php 6 Million to Earthquake Victims
MGP’s Administration Manager Jean Gonzales and Community Relations Superintendent Rey Carlo Belgica turn-over of check to Mayor Felipe Cabatana and Vice Mayor Thelma Ang and Sangguniang Bayan Members of the Municipality of Cataingan.Filminera Resources Corporation (Filminera) and Phil Gold Processing & Refining Corp. (PGPRC) turned over a total of Php 6 million in earthquake relief financial assistance as well as 100 sacks of rice and 50 folding beds to officers of the local government of the Municipality of Cataingan. The Php 5 Million donation was received by Mayor Felipe Cabatana in the presence of Vice-Mayor Thelma Ang and members of the Sangguniang Bayan. The total combined earthquake relief from Filminera and PGPRC to the Municipality of Cataingan is equivalent to Php 6,283,100. This includes Php 1 Million to assist Cataingan Hospital repair and supplies needed to assist the communities and households that were severely affected by the earthquake.Cataingan is the town hardest-hit by the 6.6 earthquake last August 18, 2020 which shook the province of Masbate. The earthquake had an epicenter located 7 kilometers off Cataingan with a depth of 21 kilometers. Cataingan is 150 kilometers away from the Filminera mine site in Aroroy.The trucks containing the 100 sacks of rice and 50 folding beds with MGP’s Administration Manager Jean Gonzales and Community Relations Superintendent Rey Carlo Belgica.A team from Filminera and PGPRC, together with the Municipal Engineer and the Municipal Administrator, also joined Mayor Cabatana in the ocular inspection of damaged public structures in the municipality. In a separate event last August, an inspection was conducted at the mine site in Aroroy, Masbate by a team of experts from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the weekend. At the exit conference attended by the community stakeholders, the local government units, and Filminera and PGPRC representatives, MGB and DENR reported that their inspection showed there were neither damages nor injuries within the mine site.The management of Filminera and PGPRC temporarily stopped mining August 21 to give way to the inspection team and resumed normal operations August 27. Filminera President Cris Acosta said that the results of the inspection confirmed the initial result sent to the MGB regional office right after the August 18 earthquake that there was no damage to the structures and equipment at the mine site. Filminera’s initial inspection was conducted by in-house technical experts and third-party consultant GHD, which is a reputable international technical consultant.GHD has been an advisor of the Masbate Gold Project since 2007 and continues to be a part of the mine’s expansion to this date. GHD was initially engaged to carry out the detailed design of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). They continue to provide detailed design and construction supervision services of the TSF development. They also provide geotechnical assessments, deposition modelling, embankment design and analysis, mine site water balance modelling and design of the water treatment plant.
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Marcelle P. Villegas - November 24, 2022
Energy Transition for Oil, Gas and Coal Sectors
Most industries are dependent on fossil fuels to operate. However, in response to climate change, there is a global trend that encourages countries to join in the energy transition of using green technologies. While in theory, this strategy looks promising and feasible. However, in some countries, like in the Philippines, this is a major challenge. This was the scope of the roundtable discussion (RTD) last 4th of May 2022 during PH-EITI Conference with the Department of Finance and Department of Energy. The theme of the event was "Preparing the Extractives for Energy Transition".
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Celsius obtains Social License to operate for the MCB Project
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Limited Celsius Resources Limited is pleased to announce that one of its Philippine subsidiaries, Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”) has obtained the consent of the Balatoc Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) for the development of the Company’s MaalinaoCaigutan-Biyog (MCB) Copper-Gold Project (“MCB” or “the Project”). After a series of consultations and negotiations, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between MMCI, the Balatoc ICC, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) was officially signed on 14 November 2022. The MOA represents the collective decision of the Balatoc ICC for MMCI to carry out exploration, development, production, and operation activities at the MCB Project area. It also outlines the commitments and obligations of all parties to the agreement as well as the economic, social, environmental, and cultural benefits of the Project to the Balatoc ICC during the life of the mine. Pasil Municipal Mayor Alfredo B. Malannag, Jr. was elated with the outcome and expressed: “This is a historical moment as it reflects the aspirations of the community for the future of the Balatoc Tribe. With MMCI at the forefront of development, our dreams of harnessing our natural resources without sacrificing our future and the environment will soon be realised. We have partnered with MMCI since their first exploration in the area in 2006 and the community has established a very good relationship with them.” Kalinga Provincial Governor James S. Edduba shared the same sentiment: “This is a happy occasion, and I am excited with the many possibilities that will happen to this community with the signing of the MOA. Growing up in the place, I can personally attest to life with and without a mining company. I was the Mayor of Pasil when Makilala Mining started their exploration. We have gone a long way and MMCI has been instrumental in the development of the community. I believe that this partnership will help develop the community further as this is such a big investment in terms of business and employment opportunities, overall progress and other benefits.” The Company considers obtaining the consent of the Balatoc ICC to be a crucial aspect for the development of the MCB Project, as it represents a social license to operate which is anchored on legitimacy, credibility, and trust. MMCI President Atty. Julito R. Sarmiento expressed: “The signing of the agreement signifies the commitment of the Company to do right by the Balatoc ICC. We have always ensured that we abide and respect the customary laws and traditions of the community in all aspects of our engagements, to demonstrate our strict adherence to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and best practices consistent with our firm commitment to Transformative Mining.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2022
Apex Mining’s 3Q2022 RESULTS UP 277% YoY
Photo credit: Apex Mining Apex Mining Co., Inc. is enjoying the fruits of its continuous expansion program with both the 3Q2022 and 9mo2022 results at an all-time high. Production for the 3Q2022 stood at 26,962 oz for gold and 100,899 oz for silver. The volume was 35% and 15% higher, respectively, than previous year’s production. The Maco mine milled 209,585 tonnes, 14% higher YoY with daily mill throughput of 2,334 tpd with mill grades of 4.02 gpt for gold and 18.72 gpt for silver. In the 3 rd quarter, the foreign exchange rate averaged P56.62 vs P50.30 from 3Q2021 or an increase of 13%. The resulting gross revenues for the third quarter was P2.743 billion, an increase of 43.8% YoY. Consolidated net income for 3Q2022 amounted to P897.95 million vs net loss of P624.35 million for 3Q2021, a 244% increase YoY. During the 3Q2021, the Company recognized P1.1 Billion provision for impairment of property and equipment and deferred exploration costs of non-operational local and foreign subsidiaries of Monte Oro Resources & Energy, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apex. For the 9mo2022, total production was 73,219 oz gold and 291,333 oz silver or an increase of 36% and 12% respectively. Realized prices were $1,817/oz for gold and $21.62/oz for silver, a change of +2% and -13% respectively. Milling throughput for the Maco Mine Site was 601,730 tonnes or 2, 299 tpd for the 9mo2022, as compared to 514,008 tonnes or 2,017 tpd for the same period in 2021. The weighted average foreign exchange rate during the comparative period was P53.85 and P49.03 to one USD, a gap of 10%. The resulting gross revenues for the three quarters of 2022 was higher at P7.51 billion compared to the same period in 2021 at P4.99 billion. The net income (loss) for the three quarters of 2022 and 2021 was P2.46 billion and (P135.73) million. Net income grew 1,913% YoY. Disaster relief is among the cornerstones of Apex Mining’s corporate citizenship initiatives. As the third quarter was drawing to a close in September, typhoon Karding battered Luzon. In tandem with the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), though Pusong Minero, Apex Mining’s president and CEO, Luis R. Sarmiento, ASEAN Eng., who is also the president of PMSEA, condoled with the families of the five Bulacan PDRRMO rescuers who perished while conducting rescue activities during the said tropical depression. At the Luksang Parangal of the Bulacan Provincial Advisory Group for Police Transformation and Development, the families of the late rescuers received cash assistance. Earlier, in August, the four classrooms built by the GMA Kapuso Foundation, in part through a P2M donation by the company, was turned over to the students and teachers of the Baybay Elementary School in the island of Siargao (Siargao, including Baybay Elementary School, was badly hit by typhoon Odette in December 2021). Apex Mining found itself displaying its unique brand of malaskit yet again as the final quarter of 2022 opened with typhoon Paeng wreaking havoc in regions 5, 6, 8, 12 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Still under the Pusong Minero program of the PMSEA, the company, together with concerned local governments, immediately deployed much needed supplies like drinking water, sleeping mats and sacks of rice to select areas badly hit by Paeng. The distribution of sleeping mats is a joint effort with the province of Davao de Oro, where Apex Mining’s Maco Mine is located. Article courtesy of Apex Mining
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