Mining Community is Ecstatic as TVIRD Brings Operations On-stream in Bayog
by Philippine Resources - October 07, 2021
Photo credit: TVIRD - TVIRD’s field office and processing plant sit at the crest of Balabag Hill – which provides a good vantage point for monitoring its mining operations and progressive rehabilitation as well as a proper slope for directing effluents to its tailings storage and impoundment facility down below.
Mining stakeholders of this town are jubilant that TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) finally commenced its commercial mining operations in Sitio Balabag. Subanen tribal leaders as well as local government officials are likewise optimistic that with this development, people in the region will surely benefit from the increased economic activity in downstream industries.
The news also brought a smile to the 78-year old tribal leader, Timuay Casiano Edal – a member of the Subanen tribal council called Pigsalabukan Gokum de Bayog (PGB) and one of the signatories of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the tribe and TVIRD. The MOA enumerates the duties and responsibilities of the two parties as the company utilizes the Subanen ancestral lands and harnesses its resources.
“After many years of waiting, finally TVIRD is operational. I never thought I would still witness its mining operations,” the chieftain told TVIRD Community Relations Officer Lope Dizon. Edal was among the many Subanens who warmly welcomed the company’s geologists assigned to explore Balabag some 20 years ago.
“He has a heart for his tribesmen. Because of this, Edal believes that tribal leaders can now implement the development plans embodied in their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), which was approved by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP),” added Dizon.
The government’s partner
Bayog Mayor Celso A. Matias is also confident that his constituents will enjoy more benefits now that the company is operational. In a recent TV interview, the mayor discussed the economic impact of mining on his town and commended the company for providing employment to his constituents.
In that interview, the mayor also applauded TVIRD for supporting local businesses and its implementation of development projects through its Social Development Management Plan or SDMP.
“Namalit sila sa mga lokal nga produkto dinhi sa Bayog. Sa karne lang, daku nga volume ang ilang ginapalit nga usahay ma-‘short’ na gani ang mga supplier (They are buying their essentials here. They are ordering a large volume of local meat that may sometimes result to shortage of the product from its supplier),” he said.
The mayor who once visited TVIRD’s first project in Sitio Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte is hopeful that Bayog can also be elevated from being a third-class municipality to first-class status due to the company’s local taxes remittances – this, in addition to its tax contribution into the national government.
Mayor Matias is referring to the excise taxes paid by mining companies to the national government in which the host province, municipality and barangay will have a predetermined share of the tax as mandated by the Mining Act of 1995.
During its gold-silver and copper-zinc projects in Canatuan, TVIRD paid a total of Php395.2 million in excise tax to the national government. Records from TVIRD’s Finance Department also show that the company paid a total of Php38.9 million to Siocon town for its business permit from 2004 to 2018 while another Php18.7 million was paid for its real property tax.
Meantime, TVIRD invested some Php173.4 million in its SDMP and Php264-million in royalties to the Subanen tribe during its 10-year run in Canatuan.
To spark hope
Seeing him at work, one can say that Antonio Malco, Jr. is happy and content in working for TVIRD. Malco, Jr. 38, is a resident of Bayog and father of a teenage son who is already in high school. He is a crane operator and has been with the company for two years now.
“During this pandemic, when many are hungry and hopeless because of joblessness, I can say that I am blessed to have this job. My family is assured of food on our table and other basic needs,” he said.
Welder Ariel Arado, 36, likewise shared that he is happy to be back in TVIRD. He said he likes working for the company since it looks after the welfare of its employees. “Happy ako sa trabaho ko (I am happy with my job).”
Arado was a member of the Special Civilian Active Auxiliary (SCAA) that helped secure the company’s assets in 2005 and was also part of the exploration team in 2007 until 2008. Malco and Arado are two of over 750 people working in TVIRD Balabag.
TVIRD’s 4,779-hectare Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area spans the three provinces of the Zamboanga Peninsula. Nearly half of its workers are residents of Bayog, an agricultural town. Meantime, eligible candidates from neighboring Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and other provinces are appointed to technical positions.
The company likewise honors its agreement to provide employment for eligible Subanens. Some 13% of its workforce are Subanens – a development lauded by Timuay Lucenio Manda of the PGB and who leads the collective Subanen tribe along with Edal.
TVIRD Balabag Project Manager Jun Gingo said that the company is currently operating at a capacity of 1,000 tons per day and has completed its first shipment of gold doré in the amount of 855 kg containing 932 ounces of gold and 25,959 ounces of silver.
With the Balabag plant and mining activities operating twenty-four hours per day, Gingo draws confidence from the collective experience of its workers and the capability of the newly-installed mill plant – which will enable TVIRD to ramp-up operations to double the current capacity.
Article courtesy of TVIRD
Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
One Year Hence: Communities are at the Heart of Agata COVID-19 Initiatives
Photo Credit: TVI Resources - Agusan del Norte PDRRMC receives COVID-19 Kits that include rubber boots, alcohol, face shields, face masks, gloves, and water supplies. It has been more than a year ago since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as global pandemic. This deadly virus triggered devastating economic and social disruption as it shuttered business establishments and affected millions with death and disease. By the end of the first quarter in 2020, the Philippines was likewise left vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. In active response to the needs of the community, Agata Mining Ventures Inc. remained committed more than ever to serving its stakeholders by rolling-out projects that aimed to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic. COVID-19 initiatives At the onset of the pandemic, the company distributed various Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from Manila as part of its immediate response to the needs of medical frontliners in the Mindanao region. Along with mother company, TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), Agata distributed critical PPEs: N95 face masks, face shields and surgical and examination gloves to protect frontliners, including local government personnel, medical workers, police, civilian volunteers and checkpoint personnel. It also provided relief to more than 10,000 families in its respective areas and sourced majority of its fresh vegetables from farmers and other goods from local establishments. The company’s initiative did not only address food shortage but also provided a source of income for local producers. Aside from directly supporting the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks, Agata also aided its communities by capacitating its people with new skills. The company’s Mabakas Techno Demo Farm provided scholarships and trainings for the locals, bringing its total number of scholars since 2018 to almost 4,000. The National Certificate courses at Mabakas are funded by the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds and conducted in partnership with the country’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These courses also aim to help the graduates obtain alternative livelihood and tap economic opportunities despite the pandemic. Agata extended additional assistance to displaced students by providing school equipment to enable them to study from home. The company distributed heavy-duty photocopiers and paper supplies to partners Barangay Tinigbasan National High School and Elementary School, Barangay Lawigan Elementary School and Kauswagan De Oro Elementary School in Barangay E. Morgado. A reliable partner Today, Agata continues to performs its role in building communities as it creates employment opportunities for the general welfare of its stakeholders. During the pandemic, the company recruited a total of 78 new personnel – majority of whom are from Caraga. “I am thankful that despite COVID-19 I am able to get a new job. I know it is not easy to be employed, given our situation now,” stated Precious Erap, resident of Butuan – a newly-hired purchaser at Agata. Dareem Angob, a resident of Santiago Municipality of this province, expressed that her ‘acquired knowledge’ from the Mabakas Organic Farming course, which she took during the pandemic, is very useful and that she now has a vegetable garden right at her doorstep. Agata likewise promotes organic backyard gardening as an alternative source of food and income during the lockdown. It also conducts regular information and education campaigns on COVID-19 to keep the communities abreast of health protocols. Driven by its philosophy of “Starting it right, keeping the end in mind,” Agata continues to operate responsibly throughout the pandemic while ensuring the integrity of both the community and its natural environment. It also continues to create new innovations that conserve natural resources as well as pave the way for the people’s progress – all for a sustainable future.
Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
Imelda Residents: Help Came When We Needed It Most
A helping hand. TVIRD’s Community Relations team led by Khalil Tabernero distributed food packs to Imelda Town’s flood victims who were lining-up alongside the company’s service vehicle. Physical distancing was strictly implemented in the queues while some food packs were delivered directly to households by the team. “It was a touching gesture. The assistance provided to us came when we needed it most. Thank you so much, TVIRD,” said Imelda Town residents who were provided with food packs by TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD). The assistance came after the devastating storm battered the town and hit Barangay Poblacion the hardest. Danny Gamil, leader of a barangay purok (a subset of a barangay) and neighbor Nolyn G. Palme said the arrival of the food packs helped their families survive for days after Storm Crising brought heavy flooding. Gamil is one of the town’s earliest settlers. He said all the residents of his purok and others of this barangay received the food packs delivered by the company’s Community Relations personnel who were led by Khalil Pope Tabernero. The company’s efforts provided immediate relief to an estimated 400 families in the municipality. Earlier, TVIRD provided assistance to some 250 families from Barangays Dimalinao, Kahayagan and Dipili directly after Crising battered these barangays with strong floods and extraordinary rainfall. PAGASA warned of “isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods and rain-induced landslides” in vulnerable areas. Specifically for Zamboanga del Sur, this is not the first time that a natural disaster of this magnitude brought savage destruction to homes and farmlands. A touching gesture “I was really touched, seeing all those goods delivered to us by TVIRD. Its arrival comforted us, made us see the goodness of men,” said Palme, 29-year old wife of a fish vendor and mother of three. She said that their family had no income for days and that she and her husband have been clearing their house of debris after it was submerged by flood water. “Everything was washed away by the flood. We only salvaged our TV set and a cooking utensil. We are hard-up and do not have income. Adding to our misery was the lockdown imposed on us again – we cannot even go out. But thanks to TVIRD’s food packs, which sustained us for several days,” Palme said. Imelda food packs being distributeded Farmer and tricycle driver Gerson F. Bacleta, said TVIRD’s help was unexpected, especially since Imelda is located almost 50 kilometers from TVIRD’s facilities in Bayog Municipality, Zamboanga del Sur Province. “We did not expect it, but I am grateful because the assistance helped feed my family for three days. It was the only assistance that we received after the storm,” he said. “Sadly, my rice land is buried with mud and can no longer be salvaged,” Bacleta shared. He would have harvested about a month after the storm. Devastating flood Gamil said the May 14 flood was “devastating.” However, he also refuted reports that it was the first time Imelda town experienced this kind of flooding. “Hesus, 47 anyos na ko. Dili lang kay kini ang baha nga nakahatag ug daku nga kadaut sa among lungsod. May mga baha kaniadto nga nalunopan pod ang mga balay (Jesus! I am 47 years old already. This is not the only flood that brought so much destruction to our town. There were floods before that also submerged houses here),” he said. Imelda is a fourth-class municipality situated along Sibugay River, which is considered the longest body of water in Sibugay Province. During the May 14 flooding, a huge volume of water from the river found its way to Imelda and other towns of the province.
Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021
From Educators to Licensed Professionals: TVIRD Scholars Make Waves in Their Chosen Fields
Photo Caption: Our future. Children study and play at the Canatuan Elementary and National High School – an institution that TVIRD helped build during its operations in the area from 2004-2014, and from which time the company has been the host municipality’s strongest partner in promoting responsive education. (TVIRD file photo) Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte / July 2021 – She knows what it is to be poor at a young age, being born to poor parents and raised by a single mother who died while she was in her primary years. The harrowing experience of being bullied because of poverty made Joanamarie Gabayan vow to have a stable job in the future. At 19, she fulfilled her promise to herself and joined the academe where a decent, fulfilling and stable job as a professional teacher awaited her. Joanamarie, “Joan” to family and friends, earned her degree in elementary education in 2015. She took and passed the professional board examination for teachers then and landed a teaching job the following year – thanks to the scholarship program of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) in Canatuan. Now 25 years old and already married, Joan is currently teaching the Subanon children at Barangay Tabayo Elementary School of this town. Assigned as an Indigenous People Education (IPEd) teacher by the Department of Education (DepEd), she instructs her pupils on basic education that is responsive to their context, respects their identities and promotes the values of their indigenous knowledge, skills and other aspects of their cultural heritage – all in line with DepEd Order 50 series of 2016. Looking back at her humble beginning, Joan said she is forever grateful to the company that helped her realize her dream. “I could not have reached this far without TVIRD,” she said. Giving back Police Corporal Rasul Agang, also a former scholar of the company agrees with her. A graduate of BS in Criminology at a state university in Siocon town, Corporal Agang is now proudly serving his “kababayans” as a member of the Siocon Police Station. At 27, Rasul said he “walks the talk” of the PNP Motto which is to “Serve and protect.” A son of a fisherman, Rasul shared that ever since he was young, he wanted to become a police officer. “That was my dream, and I was able to achieve it through the help of the company. I am always proud of being a scholar and part of the TVIRD family, knowing that it is a responsible mining company,” he said. Rasul cited TVIRD’s ongoing final mine rehabilitation in Canatuan, which started in 2016. The program consists of “re-greening” and restoring the company’s former mine site to its former condition and covers all disturbed areas during its 10-year mining operations from 2004. Equally thankful is geologist-scholar Ryan Lumabi, also a Subanon from Sitio Canatuan. Ryan currently works as a project geologist at Premium Megastructures Inc. in Misamis Oriental. “I just want to say thank you very much to TVIRD for making my dream possible. It really was impossible for me to reach my dream given that we were poor. But (they) gave me the opportunity to study and graduate as well as assisted me financially while taking the board examinations,” he said. Investing in education “TVIRD believes that education plays a vital role in empowering its Subanon partners; hence, the company must invest on it,” according to TVIRD President Yulo Perez who was then Canatuan General Manager who institutionalized the company’s College Scholarship Program in early 2005. According to him the program seeks to provide the poor but deserving Subanons with access to education so they will be able to help the tribe’s elders in managing the development of their homeland – all according to their needs and outlook, and within their cultural and traditional framework. Also included in the grant were underprivileged but deserving non-tribal scholars residing within the immediate community and the host municipality of Siocon. From 2004 to 2020, TVIRD spent more than Php11-million pesos for its scholarship program. The amount is on top of the construction cost of the first school buildings and library of Canatuan Elementary and National High School as well as the salaries of both school’s first four school teachers. TVIRD also provided school buses for the pupils and students of both schools. The first bus could accommodate 48 passengers and ferried the children as far as Sitio Kilometer 8, a sub-village of Kilalaban of the neighboring town of Baliguian, and Sitio Paduan of Barangay Candiz in Siocon town. When TVIRD concluded its Canatuan operations in 2014, it also produced professional teachers, nurses, midwives, civil engineers, agriculturists, geologists, an environmental engineer, a forester and a member of the Philippine Navy. Geologist Ryan Lumabi mentioned earlier that the education provided to him by the company gave him the fighting chance to reach his dream. “Mining may cease, and TVIRD may eventually leave Canatuan. But the education it provided will live on in the hearts of its scholars whose lives were touched and changed for the better,” he concluded.
Philippine Resources - October 19, 2021
TVI Pacific's 30.66% owned TVIRD Balabag Gold and Silver Project Completes Second Doré Shipment
TVI Pacific Inc. is pleased to announce the completion of a second shipment of gold doré from the Balabag gold and silver project. Balabag is owned 100% by TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66% interest, and is located in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. Continuing Gold Production at Balabag Gold-Silver Project : Further to the announcement of September 30th, 2021, in which the Company announced the first shipment of gold doré from Balabag and reported various operating statistics, TVIRD has further confirmed that Balabag mill plant availability month-to-date has been 85% and that it is currently processing at a month-to-date average rate of 1,064 tpd. The second shipment in the amount of 894 kg of gold doré has been delivered to the designated refinery and contains 641 ounces of Au and 27,552 ounces of Ag for 992 gold equivalent ounces. Gross proceeds from the second shipment are US $1.8 million. The second shipment of gold doré follows the completion of the first shipment on September 30, 2021. Activities at site continue to be concentrated on optimizing the operation and the ramping-up of throughput to 2,000 tpd. The average head grade month-to-date has been 1.8 g/t Au and 95.1 g/t Ag while the average recoveries month-to-date have been 93% for Au and 86% for Ag. The run of mine ("ROM") mineralized stockpile, in-pit stockpile and crushed mineralized stockpile currently contains an approximate 100,000 tonnes of mineralized material, much of which is low to marginal grade and continues to be mined to expose the higher-grade mineralized resource during waste stripping and bench forming. The stockpiles have an average grade of 1.3 g/t Au and 47.7 g/t Ag. It is expected that the average grade of feed will increase as higher-grade mineralized resource is mined. Ongoing exploration drilling is continuing at Balabag with TVIRD having completed to date twenty-six (26) drillholes for a total meterage of 3,720 meters in its Phase 5B drilling program. A total of twenty-eight (28) holes are expected to be drilled with an estimated meterage of 4,200 meters. The Phase 5B drilling program together with assays and reporting is currently expected to be completed in Q4 2021. "We are pleased with the progress at Balabag having now completed the second shipment of gold doré within days of the first shipment being delivered to the designated refinery. Our focus continues to be to further ramp-up throughput as we continue to optimize the process but in general the equipment is working well", said Mr. Cliff James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD, "We look forward also to our soon being able to share with all stakeholders the results of Phase 5B drilling as TVIRD continues to pursue its growth strategy with ongoing drilling at Balabag."
Philippine Resources - October 19, 2021
Calbayog City coastal road project 83% done
A portion of the Calbayog City Coastal Road project in Calbayog City. The project, which is up for completion in 2025, is now 83 percent complete, the Regional Development Council’s regional project monitoring committee reported on Monday (Oct. 18, 2021). (Photo courtesy of Mel Senen Sarmiento) About 83 percent of the Calbayog City Coastal Road Project is now completed after four years of implementation, the Regional Development Council’s regional project monitoring committee (RPMC) reported on Monday. Construction of the PHP1.16-billion project meant to curb traffic jams in Calbayog’s commercial district has been implemented since 2018. It involves the construction of a road, embankment, and bridge. The government is eyeing to complete the project in 2025. “The construction of the Calbayog City Coastal Road aims to create alternative routes in the city to decongest traffic in Calbayog City proper. However, certain segments of the already funded network have yet to break ground,” the RPMC reported. It will start with the construction of a bridge across the Calbayog River since the work will affect the docking of motor boats carrying passengers and products to island communities. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Philippine Ports Authority will find a spot as a temporary dock for the motor boats. “Calbayog City is a fast-growing commercial hub. With its flourishing economy comes the need for bigger and better thoroughfares to accommodate the increasing traffic volume and weight,” the DPWH Samar first district engineering office said in a separate statement. From 2018 to 2021, the project’s work is centered on the construction of embankment and road with a total allotment of PHP1.14 billion. Of the total, PHP333.71 million was released in 2018, PHP281.07 in 2019, PHP268.52 million in 2020, and PHP265.76 million in 2021. The multi-year project that will build a 4.67-kilometer road and bridge will connect the villages of Rawis, San Policarpo, Aguit-itan, allowing vehicles to by-pass the busy road of Calbayog City’s commercial district. By Sarwell Meniano Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Siguil Hydro Power Plant in Sarangani On-Schedule to deliver Renewable Energy in 2022
The Alsons Power group’s 14.5 mega-watt (MW) ₱ 4.5 billion run- of- river hydroelectric power plant at the Siguil River basin in Maasim, Sarangani Province is on- track to begin operations in 2022 to provide a source of renewable power to key areas of Mindanao. The photo shows ongoing work on the plant’s powerhouse that will contain the hydropower turbine and generator set which will produce electricity using water from the Siguil River. It will also house the power facility’s control Room and offices for administration, operations and maintenance. Alsons Power- Mindanao’s firs private sector power generator plans to develop at least seven more run of river hydro power facilities in different parts of Mindanao and Negros Occidental. The group currently operates four power facilities in Mindanao with a total generating capacity of 468 MW serving over 8 million people in 14 cities and 11 provinces.