The PH Mining Club’s Bamboo Summit and Reinventing Mining

by Marcelle P. Villegas - November 02, 2021

In celebration of World Bamboo Day last September 18, The Philippine Mining Club presented a webinar/summit titled "Bamboo Economics and Initiatives to Re-Imagine Mining into Social Enterprises -- A Summit on Re-Imagining, Developing, and Sustaining Mining Communities in the Philippines with Bamboo."

The summit was a 5-hour online event that was made possible in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry Philippines, Philippine Nickel Industry Association, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Kilusang 5K, and more.

This event emphasised the role of bamboo in land rehabilitation of mined-out areas, in providing livelihood for the host communities of mine sites, and in general, how mining companies fulfill their role in environmental protection as mandated by the government.

For the past years, the reputation of the mining industry in the Philippines has been tainted with accusations of being a "destroyer of nature". In the same way, the role of mining in providing economic growth and financial benefits for the country is often trivialized or unheard of by some people, which are often due to misinformation and fear-mongering promoted by anti-mining groups.

The purpose of this summit, just like all other events organized by The Philippine Mining Club, is to provide a platform for an informative, balanced and scientific discussion about the industry and its contributions to nation-building. The summit featured several speakers from the government sector, the academe, researchers, private sector, NGOs and more.

"Let us plant bamboo with the end in mind,” said Atty. Leo G. Dominguez, the flamboyant Masters of Ceremonies in the Philippine Mining Club events.

 “Secretary Cimatu has mandated the mining industry to reinvent invent itself. The answer is by planting bamboo in their mined-out areas and even in the areas within their tenement but outside of their actual mine sites. What would this achieve? First it will help the DENR meet its commitment to plant 1 million hectares of bamboo for climate change mitigation... It will also create truly sustainable livelihoods for the mining communities even beyond the mine life. Why? Because bamboo is a fast-growing supergrass that you could keep growing and keep cutting, and for some species for up to 100 years. How will bamboo reinvent mining? Bamboo will provide the mining communities with an almost endless supply of material to create high-value products."

Atty. Dominguez is the CEO of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. Even as early as June 2018, he and his colleagues have been actively promoting the Bamboo Initiative, an advocacy which he started with the support of other mining companies and groups.

"With funding from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of the mining companies, which is currently 1.5% of their CapEx (capital expenditure) per annum, and with the support of the DTI (Dept. of Trade and Industry), the DENR (Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources), the DA (Dept. of Agriculture), the DOST (Department of Science and Technology), the mining community can receive the skills training to work with bamboo, obtain marketing information from the DTI for the high-value products that both the domestic and international markets are willing to buy, and obtain reliable planting materials, hopefully from the DA and DOST, plus the skills needed to propagate the bamboo optimally."

Atty. Domingues stated, "How will all these elements come together to making the mining industry an effective partner in growing the bamboo industry? It will do this by identifying what each party in the collaboration, that is the DTI, DENR, DA, DOST, plus the mining industry, what they need to specifically contribute to empowering the mining communities to become active and productive partners in drawing the bamboo industry. This is how bamboo can reinvent mining.”

Dr. Florentino O. Tesoro, Chairman of Bamboo Professionals Inc. and Rene Madarang, Executive Director, Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) discussed the role of PBIDC in the Bamboo Initiative.

"The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council aims to converge different government agencies and the private sector for the development of the bamboo industry. Currently, it operates through Executive Order 879 series of 2010."

The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Roadmap's vision is to have "a progressive, dynamic, productive, and globally competitive bamboo industry with a sustainable resource base."

Other speakers in the summit include, Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, DENR/MGB Director; Dr. Henry A. Adornado, DENR-ERDB; Director, Dr. Rico J. Cabangon, DOST-FPRDI, OIC-Deputy Director; Dr. Orlex B. Yllano, Adventist University of the Philippines, Dept. of Biology, Chair and DOST-NRCP Member; Rica Janet Villanueva-Gadi and Architect Jed De Guzman of Bamboo Bootcamp; Atty. Dante Bravo and Isidro Alcantara, Jr. of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association, and Gerard H. Brimo of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

For more information about the event and about Philippine Mining Club, please visit their website at https://www.philippineminingclub.com/.

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Photo credit: Top photo - Bamboo – by clarabsp via Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/photos/bamboo-green-plant-240321/



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Marcelle P. Villegas - March 18, 2019

Super Grass Bamboo presents promising future

By Marcelle P. Villegas Most of us have the impression that bamboo is only useful in building nipa huts or creating furniture. There is actually far more about this plant than most of us are aware of. Let’s begin as far back as the 1950s when bamboo technology was used in aviation. Do you know that a Filipino named Antonio De Leon designed two airplanes in 1950s using WOBEX (Woven Bamboo Experimental), a resin reinforced woven bamboo composite? He was from the Institute of Science and Technology (IST), a national science board previously known as Bureau of Science (1905, from the American era), the predecessor of our present-day Department of Science and Technology (DOST).[1] Mr. De Leon’s first experimental aircraft was the I.S.T. XL-14 Maya, a single-engine, light aircraft designed to investigate the use of indigenous materials in aircraft construction. [2] He later designed the I.S.T. XL-15 Tagak (swan) using the same WOBEX technology. This is a single-engine, twin-boom, high-wing monoplane. It made its first flight in October 1954. This project was a collaboration with the Philippine Air Force with a goal to design an aircraft for utility, liaison, medical emergency, and a test bed for the use of local materials in aviation. [3] Tagak (1954). Institute of Science and Technology’s [IST] Antonio De Leon designed these two experimental airplanes using WOBEX (Woven Bamboo Experimental), a technology that uses reinforced bamboo as materials in aviation. IST was founded in 1946 which aims to develop science and technology in the country. It was later named National Science Development Board in 1958. Eventually in 1981, President Marcos reorganised its agencies with a new name, National Science and Technology Authority. Then, it was later renamed as Department of science and Technology (DOST) by President Corazon Aquino in 1987. Bamboo is also called a “Super Grass”. Yes, a super grass that presents sustainable solutions from rehabilitation of mined-out land. It also offers proven ecological solutions to climate change and social economic problems. No other plant offers the same package in such a short period of time. Ahead of its time, nearly 70 years ago, bamboo-technology was already used for aviation. Today, there are many fascinating stories on how bamboo can impact our country’s advancement, not only with bamboo technology, but manifold social enterprises and agro-industries that grow from planting bamboo with the end in mind. These powerful topics were discussed by Atty. Leo G. Dominguez during the Mining Philippines Conference in September 2018. Atty. Dominguez connected the dots for many people in several sectors of society (such as the mining industry) with the introduction of high value product design, planting programs, social enterprise manufacturing, and how holistic agriculture can greatly benefit from the super grass. Atty. Dominguez presented a report entitled “Bamboo: From Advocacy to Changing the Conversation about Mining in the Philippines”. He is the President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and an advocate in promoting the bamboo’s socio-economic importance and its role in the mining industry. He began his report by comparing the super grass with trees. Trees are only useful if they are fruit-bearing and can offer economic value to a community. “If trees are planted within Mining Communities but if they are not fruit bearing, they will eventually be cut down in the name of poverty, mainly for firewood, or the freshly-planted forest could mysteriously burn down, so that the community that planted the initial trees would be paid again to replant them. Since the bamboo is not a tree (but is actually classified as a grass in Botany), it has qualities that make it a compelling, lucrative and sustainable alternative,” he stated. Bamboo is coined as a “Super Grass” because it is the fastest-growing plant in the world. It can grow up to 35 inches a day in ideal conditions. Bamboo addresses climate change by sequestering carbon 400 times more than trees, and reducing carbon release. In general, bamboo is flexible and adaptive. If offers restoration to mined out areas and provides numerous possibilities for livelihood enterprises. Moreover, Atty. Dominguez stated that, “Because bamboo is a grass, it is not subject to the heavy government regulations affecting the cutting of trees. Depending on species, soil and climate conditions, bamboo can live about 60-100 years. Bamboo can be harvested continuously during its lifetime.” He then asked the audience, “Now, what does bamboo have to do with mining?” Atty. Dominguez continued by saying, “In his talk before the Philippine Mining Luncheon on 8 June 2018, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) Secretary Cimatu emphasized that mining companies must use their Social Development Management Program (“SDMP”) funds to create truly sustainable economic activities for their mining communities. In his State of the Nation (“SONA”) Address in 2018, President Duterte said to the mining industry, ‘Do not just give me taxes. I can get it from other sources. Give me what needs to be given to my countrymen.’” In relation to this, we the following questions: 1. How will the DENR achieve its commitment under the National Greening Program to plant 1 million hectares of bamboo to help address climate change? 2. How will Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) implement its 3 years-in-the-making Bamboo Industry Development Roadmap without the land to do it on and the people/communities to do it with? 3. How would the people in the mining communities achieve sustainable livelihoods even beyond the life of the mines? 4. More importantly, how will the mined-out areas be greened to the satisfaction of the President? His answer to all of these? Bamboo - The Super Grass. Atty. Dominguez points out, “Now, how do we make bamboo the tool to reinvent mining? Bring together DENR, DTI, Design Center Philippines, DOST, Department of Agriculture, the mining industry -- a unifying target, a win-win for all.” Secretary Ramon Lopez of DTI and Chair of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council pointed out that if the mining industry would contribute mined out and other available areas for planting bamboo, and then work with DENR, all can work together under the DTI Bamboo Roadmap and their applications. The DTI Bamboo Roadmap covers the following: 1. planting technology 2. identifying low to high value bamboo products 3. training the community to design and manufacture these products 4. assisting in the marketing of bamboo products to pre-targeted buyers and consumers The next big question: “Who will fund the planting of bamboo and the training of the mining communities to work with bamboo?” The funds will come from the mining companies who are required by law to spend specified amounts on their respective Environment Protection and Enhancement Programs (“EPEP”) and SDMP’s. There are many misinformed people who seriously believe that mining is bad for the country. How can the bamboo industry change this negative conversation about mining? From his report, Atty. Dominguez states, “Bamboo will not only be a source of sustainable livelihood. With inputs from all the partners involved in the Bamboo Roadmap, bamboo has the potential to launch the mining communities into agro-industrial enterprises of the future. This bamboo rocket ship would not be possible without the mining industry as the launch pad for all these endeavors.” What about the money? How profitable is a bamboo plantation? Based on his study and report, a family that farms 10 hectares of bamboo plantation has potential income, as follows: ~ Cost/10 hectares = Php960,000 ~ Revenue/10 hectares = Php6.3 million ~ 1 hectare contains 210 bamboo clumps ~ price/bamboo = Php100 ~ 210 x 30 x Php6.3 million gross value of poles/10 hectares Therefore, projected net family income/year/10-hectare bamboo plantation = Php1.4 million How does this “super grass” connect Mines and Agriculture? Historically, mining companies first remove minerals that normally make mineralized lands inhospitable to agriculture. “These minerals eventually make their way into things that we use like our cars, jewelry, cellphones and devices, refrigerators, watches, houses, and so on. After this, mining companies are required to rehabilitate and transform the mined-out land into agricultural land. Then, mining companies plant trees to fulfill their obligation to re-vegetate the mined-out area.” Land rehabilitation has always been a part of mining operations of responsible mining companies, and yet many misinformed people blame mining for the loss of agriculture land. Atty. Dominguez clarifies that, “One of the major problems of our country is that it is rapidly losing food-producing agricultural land to real estate development. The mines actually generate agricultural land. The mining industry has in fact, all along, been addressing the loss of agricultural land to real estate by transforming mineral lands (which by their nature are not good for agriculture in the first place) into agricultural lands.” He suggests that mining companies can take this further if they accomplish the following: ~ Help the country comply with its commitment to plant bamboo to address climate change; ~ For the first time, plant something that can be harvested and used by their mining communities in many ways to generate sustainable livelihoods for their communities; ~ Provide the mining communities with long-term sustainable enterprises that can go on beyond the life of the mine. With regard to the overall reputation of the mining industry, bamboo could be a crucial catalyst that can change the way people see the industry. “The success of mining companies could also be evaluated by how successful mining communities, [who are] working with bamboo, have become.” In summary, in his presentation, Atty. Dominguez, emphasized the following: ~ The mining industry is an unsung hero. It actually transforms non-agricultural to agricultural land. ~ When you plant bamboo on this newly-created agricultural land, you actually launch sustainable social enterprises and economic empowerment for the mining communities. ~ Over time, even beyond the life of the mine, these communities could become agro- industrial port cities of the Filipino future. He concludes, “All of this would not be possible without the mining industry as the launch pad, working in collaboration with the DENR, DTI, and hopefully the DOST and the DA as well.” References: [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_the_Philippines and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Science_and_Technology_(Philippines) [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.S.T._XL-14_Maya [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.S.T._XL-15_Tagak Acknowledgment: Mr Leo G. Dominguez and Mr Christopher Lacson

Mining

Marcelle P. Villegas - March 12, 2019

How wars and historical events affected the mining industry

By Marcelle P. Villegas For the past centuries, the mining industry in the Philippines was greatly affected by the changes of government or colonisers, events around the world and more. It seems that whenever there is war, there is also a rise in the demand in certain mineral resources or a fall in the production rate of some minerals. August is History Month in the Philippines as promoted by Government and Education sectors. The Philippines is rich in natural resources, cultural heritage and more noticeably, we are rich in history which brought progress or hindrance in economic growth through the years. Last August, during the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association (PMEA) Monthly Membership Meeting, one of the keynote speakers is Mr Hernulfo “Nonoy” Ruelo, Geologist Consultant. The title of his presentation is “Copper-Gold Discoveries and Mine in the Philippines - Understanding the Past, in order to make sense of the Current, and the Future”. It was a well-researched report and analysis on how historical events, like wars or change in leaders, affected the mining sector and the socio-economic status of the country. The presentation takes us back in time with some rare vintage photos from the past. During the pre-Spanish Period, the earliest use of metal in the Philippines by our Filipino ancestors was the use of copper for ornamentation, not for tools or currency. Other metals used were gold and tumbaga (copper alloyed with gold). “Gold was the major form of ‘currency’ among the early Filipinos and one of the first things they [ancestors] taught their children was the knowledge of gold and the weights with which they measured.” (From the book by Evelyn J. Caballero, 1996. “Gold from the Gods: Traditional small-scale miners in the Philippines”. Giraffe Books, Quezon City.( p 196 and 263) On note, the pre-colonial mining methods had no environmental impact on land, water, air and people. Pre-Spanish Period Mining in the Philippines started in the 3rd century when gold was traded with China and the Javanese empire where the height of this trade was during 12th to 14th century. The Chinese were the first foreign miners. Gold is both a commodity and a medium of exchange. When the Spaniards arrived in the 1521, gold was already being mined, traded and used as jewelry or ornamentation by the native Filipinos. In fact, 16th century Filipino noblemen were decked in gold. Colonial Period Under Spain 1500s - 1898: Paracale and Cordillera were the oldest goldfields. From 1500s - 1700s, gold was one of the tributes collected by the Spanish government and given to the King of Spain. In 1583 and 1595, an expedition was sent to mine in Cordillera but was a failure due to the resistance of the Igorots. “Gold mining before the coming of the Americans was primarily in the hands of enterprises organized in the Philippines by Spaniards and Chinese mestizos and Filipinos, with a few other companies trying, without success, to produce commercially.” (Ref. - Wirkus 1974) In 1600 to 1700, about 10,000 ounces of gold per annum were shipped to Spain, and the gold shipments to Spain increased from 1800 to 1895. For copper, the Spaniards opened the first copper mine in the country in 1842, called the Carawisan copper mine in Antique province. From 1864 to 1874, the Contrabro-Filipino Company operated Mankayan Copper Mine. Gold mining made its comeback in commerce in 1892 where concessions to foreigners were first granted. The British explorer, Frank Karuth of Philippine Mineral Syndicate, led the commercial-scale hard-rock and alluvial gold operations in Paracale District until 1895. (Ref. - Chaput 1987) Philippine Revolution 1896 – 1902: With the rise of the Philippine revolt against Spain, in 1896, mining operations at Paracale dwindled until 1902 when the Filipino-American War ended. The Organic Act of 1902 was created which organized companies, issued patents, and established the Geological & Mining Science Department. By 1927, gold was the third best export commodity and initiated by the Philippine (Manila) Stock Exchange. In the following years, the Mining Act of 1935 was released (Commonwealth Act 137) which introduced the Regalian Doctrine, the concept of Mining Lease, and the establishment of Bureau of Mines. The Americans invested US$ 34.2M in gold production. Mining for copper was reopened in 1936, the same time when the Japanese savvy for copper was high and led to the ‘discovery’ of the first large porphyry copper deposit in the country. Commonwealth Period 1937 - 1941: This period in Philippine history was considered a golden era when Manila was highly modernised and was one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Asia. In fact, in 1937, we had the best and well-equipped airport in the Southeast Asia, the Nielson Airport. (This is now Ayala Triangle Park in Makati City, and the original Nielson Tower is now “Blackbird” Restaurant.) Although this elegant airport was primary used as an aviation school, it also paved the way for trade and commerce for foreign investors. Philippine Airline made its first commercial flight in 1941, from Nielson Airport to Baguio. The Philippines was the largest gold producer in Asia and second only to California in world production. During the American period, 9 million oz of gold was produced from 1906 – 1941. Japanese Occupation 1942 – 1945: Being a colony of United States of America, the Philippines got itself involved in war against the Japanese who invaded Manila in 1942. The Japanese took over Lepanto and the Hixbar mines (Rapu-rapu) and was able to mine and extract 11,000 tonnes of copper. No gold production was recorded. With the aggressive strategies of conquering their neighboring countries, Japan was unstoppable that time in their collection of natural resources that were needed to fuel their warships and planes and the production of weapons. Battleships Musashi and Yamato where the two giants in naval power that made Japan feared by other nations. The two battleships were defeated though in the Philippines during the Battle in Leyte Gulf in October 1945 which paved the way to the Liberation of Manila and eventually the whole country. Post-war Reconstruction 1946 – 1954: Those post-war years were hard times for all war-torn countries. However, with the need for repairs infrastructure after WWII, there was an increase in the global demand for copper. Some gold mines in the Philippines were rehabilitated but the problems were lack of capital and low market demand. Copper production re-started in 1947. Since Manila was the ground zero and battlefield of the war that ended WWII in the Pacific (Battle of Manila in 1945), there were serious damages in the country’s economy and on the mining industry. Korean War 1954 – 1960: For the Filipino soldiers who fought the Japanese during WWII, the Korean War was the first time for them to fight a battle in a foreign land. Although this war affected Southeast Asia directly, the gold prices maintained. However, in mid 1950s, the gold mines collapsed due to a recession period. The copper price rose slight due to high world demand. More Philippine copper mines opened. Vietnam War 1960-1975: In 1972, U.S. President Nixon took dollar off the gold standard. It was fixed at $35 since 1934, but gold prices are allowed to float free which devalued dollar to $38. In 1973, world gold price jumped from $38 to $120. World copper rate hit high at $0.90 in 1974. World copper mine production was at its peak. Martial Law 1972 - 1986: During Martial Law in the Philippines, copper price trended upward where the country’s copper production continued and boomed in 1980 where it reached its peak. It was in 1980 when Philippine copper production was recorded the highest at 306 Kt. However, the World Oil Crisis in 1973 - 1980 brought about a decline in copper demand. World Recession in 1982 – 1984 pulled down the copper prices. Philippine inflation devalued the Philippine peso and there was an increase in production costs, materials and equipment. The Global recession resulted in a decline in copper demand. The Philippine gold production was sustained and gold prices surged from 1978 to 1980. The modern Gold Bloom in 1980s brought about the rise of unregulated Small Scale Mining. In summary, the explanatory variables of growth and decline in PH copper industry in the 1950s-1980s are: - For Copper resources: risk capital or investments, development in the world’s copper market, technology, human capital in mining, domestic social, legal, and political environment . - For the gold industry: gold resources, competition, commodity price, production costs, technology (bulk mining, milling, treatment), damages – natural & man-made disasters (Reference). T.M. Santos 2001 . Growth of Copper Production: Determinants and Empirical Evidence. Social Science Diliman, July-December 2001. 2:2, 1-49.) There were other historical events in the Philippines that followed like: EDSA Revolution: 1986-1992 - gold averaged $381, copper $1.02 – There was investment uncertainty and several mines closed. New mining laws were crafted like the 1991 RA 7076 (Small Scale Mining Act). The 1987 Constitution replaced Leasehold into Agreements system. From 1990s – 2004, there was collapse of the local mining industry. However from 2004 – 2009, there was a revitalization of the mining industry with EO 270 National Policy Agenda – Mineral Action Plan. Gold price surged from $410 to $873. Copper production hit lowest in 2004 at 16 Kt since 1957. The year 2005 brought global gold boom where Philippine gold-copper mines had expansion and reopening. The Aquino Administration from 2010-2016 was within the Global Mining Boom period (2010 - 2013). It was a successful period for Philippine mine exploration, prospect drill-testing, and resource evaluation drilling. In conclusion, Mr Ruelo presented a list of challenges that miners will need to face at the present time, namely: - Fewer outcropping “easy-to-find” deposits are now left except in high-risk and “inaccessible” areas. - Current mining operations will encounter increasing real costs (labor, materials, energy, environmental, community impact) that will affect production. - The next generation of lower-grade copper/gold projects require significantly higher metal prices to justify development. - We need to discover high-quality or better gold/copper resources, even deeper ones that can be economically mined – e.g. in greenfields and brownfields.

Industry

Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019

Updates on the Bamboo Initiative by OLLI Cares

By Marcelle P. Villegas 3 May 2019 - During Philippine Mining Club at I’M Hotel, Makati City, Mr Leo Dominguez presented updates on his Bamboo Initiative, an advocacy which he started with the support of other mining companies and assoc. Mr Dominguez is the President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and flamboyant Masters of Ceremonies in Philippine Mining Club events. During the recent PMC event, he stated, “If you were here on June 8, 2018 you will recall that we had this speaker from our Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, where he spoke to us about reinventing mining. And during that presentation of his and in the ‘Question and Answer’ period after that, we started a conversation around bamboo.” “I'd like to report that that conversation has actually led to some developments. The first development after that was the participation of the mining industry in the FAME exhibition in November (2018) where bamboo products were put forward as part of the exhibit in a pavilion that was funded, thank you, by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines as well as the Philippine Nickel Industry Association to the tune of PHP1.6 million. And it is in that FAME exhibition that the collaboration amongst the Department of Trade and Industry, the DENR, and the mining industry was first told. So we expect that FAME every year will repeat the story of that collaboration as it improves.” Furthermore, he said, “Now, beyond that in April this year, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cimatu, hosted a meeting with the DTI Secretary, the mining industry as well as his staff responsible for bamboo. So I'd like to refer to it as a bamboo initiative and it was in that very well-attended meeting that the next steps of the bamboo initiative with the mining industry were discussed.” “So our next move will be a technical working group that will deal with the regulations and all that need to be tweaked to really make bamboo a greening material for the mining industry as we go forward.” The meeting which Mr Dominguez was referring to took place on 2nd April 2019 where OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. with DENR, DTI and mining companies and its stakeholders discussed the potential of bamboo in “reinventing mining”. OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. has a CSR component called “OLLI Cares” which supports the “Tanging Tanglaw” Project of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc. (For more information about OLLI Cares and “Tanging Tanglaw Project”, please visit their webpage at https://olli.ph/olli-cares.) In that meeting with Secretary Cimatu and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Mr Dominguez started the session by explaining the importance of bamboo. He said “Aptly called the Bamboo Initiative, this endeavor seeks to create a synergy between the government and the private sector on how to effectively harness the power and potential of this grass for the revegetation and rehabilitation of mine sites across the country.”[1] The following were present in that meeting [1] : ~ Philex Mining Corporation - Eulalio Austin ~ Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation - Isidro ‘Butch’ Alcantara Jr. ~ Filminera Resources Corporation - Gloria Tan Climaco ~ OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. - Jose ‘Joey’ Leviste, Jr. ~ The Chamber of Mines’ (COMP) Executive Director Atty. Ronald Recidoro ~ Philippine Nickel Industry Association’s (PNIA) Executive Director Charmaine Olea-Capili ~ Mine & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr. ~ DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director - Lourdes Ferrer ~ Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) - Bighani Manipula and Angelito Exconde ~ Biodiversity Management Bureau’s (BMB) - Juvy Ladisla ~ OLLI Consulting Group - Christopher Paris Lacson, Steve Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino - - - Now, going back to the PMC event, Mr Dominguez said, “As you all know, the whole idea is the bamboo will also be the material that the communities on whom your SDMP funds are being spent will be taught to work with the bamboo. The result will be implementing the DTI's roadmap for the development of the bamboo industry. This will generate livelihoods and hopefully more than that -- real enterprises involving our mining communities.” “So one day, we hope to say that when visitors do come to the mining companies, the first protocol will be the community, seeing how hard they are working, products that are going to export market, and so on. And you, mining companies, will be able to tell your visitors that the mine over there is what makes it possible.” “So ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, with bamboo we have the opportunity to reinvent mining and then mining will now be defined as follows: The success of a mining company will no longer be judged simply by how profitable or how responsible the mining company is, but it will also be judged by how successful it makes its mining communities.” Finally, he concluded, “Therefore, mining reinvented, thanks to bamboo, will mean that mining is also a social enterprise. We'd like to see where that is going. Ladies and gentlemen, with your help and continuing support for this initiative, we hope to change the conversation about mining and therefore make that conversation speak of it as a social enterprise as well. You will hear more about this as the developments take place.“ - - - Reference: [1] Tolentino, Maria Paula (27 April 2019). "OLLI Cares spearheads the Bamboo Initiative". SEMScribe Publishing - - - Acknowledgement: Mr Leo Dominguez and Ms Maria Paula Tolentino


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Mining

Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021

A grand slam in responsible mining

Photo credit: Hinatuan Mining A grand slam win for a mining company simply means being the best in class in its responsible conduct of business; in its forest management and environment enhancement and protection; its social responsibility programs and in providing safety in the workplace and the communities. Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) sweeps major honors this year from the country’s most prestigious award-giving body in the mining industry – the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA). “It’s our first time and it’s a grand slam! We still can’t believe it but that these awards were accorded to us during this most difficult time of the pandemic, makes this moment doubly exulting, everyone was emotional when the news first broke, this is the reason for our existence, says Engr. Francis Arañes, HMC’s Resident Mine Manager. HMC, with operations in Hinatuan Island, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte, takes home the Presidential award for surface mining operations; the Best Mining Forest in the Metallic category; the winner of the Safest Surface Mining Operations; and the winner of the Safest Mining Operation; plus, the individual awards of Best Surface Safety Inspector and Best Surface Miner accorded to HMC’s employees, Aldrin L. Resullar and Jennifer Q. Inting, respectively. The PMIEA is the highest accolade awarded to a mining company.  The evaluation and assessment for this year’s awardees encountered extra challenges with the threats of COVID-19 in the backdrop where movements were limited, the economy threatened, operations delayed, and bringing services to the communities were among the biggest challenge to the company’s community workers. HMC had set its eyes on these awards for years. The company remains steadfast, focusing on specific goals that the award giving body monitors and measures, such as the actual number of hectares to be rehabilitated as mandated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), even going outside of their areas of responsibility in supporting the Philippine National Greening Program (NGP); building a robust forest within the mine site, highlighting eco-tourism programs; setting up its host and neighboring communities to sustainable economic development programs; among other things.  And to ensure that compliance is above and beyond its mandate, HMC underscores the efficiency of reporting, of transparency, giving importance to its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programs. “The bar in honoring mining companies has been set even higher, what with the added focus on the principles of ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – in the midst of ongoing debates about climate change,” says Engr. Aloysius C. Diaz, NAC SVP and Head of Production. Diaz says the miners, HMC in particular, are now even more cognizant of peer reviews because the world has become more critical in holding the industry accountable for a greener, healthier, and safer future. PMIEA evaluates all facets of a mining company’s responsible and sustainable business practices, keenly focusing on environmental protection and management; and ensuring the health and safety of employees and the total wellbeing of the people in the communities that they serve. The Hinatuan mine site, also known as the “Tagana-an Nickel Project”, is located in Hinatuan Island, Barangay Talavera, municipality of Tagana-an, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.

Industry

Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021

Nuclear, solar eyed as alternatives to PH energy mix

Photo: Bataan nuclear power plant Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is considering nuclear and solar energy as a possible alternative or additional sources of energy in the country. Gatchalian, Senate energy committee chairman, said he favors “in principle” smaller nuclear reactors instead of the bigger ones for flexibility and safety. “Small ones are more flexible and safer. Safer in the sense that it is smaller, deployable, and has the technology that can use nuclear wastes. Of course, it is still in the development stage,” he said in a radio interview on Monday. He said small nuclear reactors can produce energy from 10 to 150 megawatts. Gatchalian, however, does not consider reviving the Bataan nuclear power plant as it will be too risky and too costly to rehabilitate the facility. He said many are also using solar energy with some big companies putting up solar power plants. “I believe it could be part of the energy transition because nuclear is emission-free but the risk is where to put the wastes and if it encounters a problem, the cost is too high. Solar deployment is still a challenge because it is still quite expensive,” he added. Gatchalian said he will file a bill on energy transition following the Department of Energy’s (DOE) move last year banning new coal power plants to accelerate the country’s shift to cleaner energy. “We cannot hasten the energy transition because we will have no source of energy… The energy transition can be 10 years or longer but the important thing is it’s a scientific process to determine how we can transition out of fossil fuel into renewable safely, reliably, and securely,” he said. He added that right now, the country’s energy needs are still good with fossil fuel but it is imperative to jumpstart the transition due to the increasing population and industries. Gatchalian was here on Sunday to turn over his donation of 5,000 sets of personal protective equipment and 50 sacks of slippers to the Region 1 Medical Center. By Hilda Austria   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency 

Industry

Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021

Gas drilling in Recto Bank should push through: Pimentel

Photo credit: Inkl The chair of the House Strategic Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said oil drilling activities in Recto Bank must proceed as scheduled amid rising tensions with China. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to USD18.2 billion, or around PHP910 billion, in future royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share. “We have no choice but to carry on with the drilling activities because the Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank has the potential to energize the entire national grid – not just Luzon – for the next 20 to 30 years,” Pimentel said. Pimentel said Sampaguita is “an untapped value-changing asset” that would be valuable to the country’s future energy security with up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Malampaya, which has been producing gas for the last 20 years, has only 1.6 trillion cubic feet of residual gas at best. “There is even one study suggesting that the entire Recto Bank has up to 20 trillion cubic feet of potential gas in place,” Pimentel said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in July 2016 that Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea. By virtue of the ruling, Pimentel said the Philippines enjoys absolute rights to exploit all resources in the seamount.   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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