A Balut Dream for Taganito Mining
by Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021
“SIFAS dreams to be able to produce balut soon to sell to the communities”
As a fresh batch of ducklings hatch in an eclectic farm in Taganito Mining, so begins the important step towards fulfilling a dream of having a balut production farm within the mine site.
Filipinos love balut. As a matter of fact, balut is associated with the Pinoy’s exotic palate and is accepted as a national delicacy in the Philippines, our “national street food”.
The town of Pateros in Taguig City is the acknowledged balut capital of the country but agriculturists in Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC) believe that there is a big market for balut in Claver, Surigao del Norte, so they started to dream of having their own balut production as means of livelihood for the communities in this mining area.
“Our main goal is to assist our partner communities and teach them to become producers of balut in the whole of Claver and adjacent towns, with lower prices so people can afford and enjoy balutproduced in their own backyards,” says Danding Elizalde, Agriculturist at TMC and the project’s overall coordinator.
A likely recipient of the balut production technology that TMC is developing is the Sapa Integrated Farmers' Association (SIFAS), one of the people organizations (POs) that TMC supports under the mining company’s Social Development Management Program (SDMP). SIFAS already has a duck farm but they are selling their egg produce until they are able to produce balut to sell.
“TMC is our biggest support in terms of funding and know-how and we cannot wait for our dream to have a balut production here in Claver,” says Mr. Virgelio Buyan, SIFAS President.
The critical first step is to grow a healthy batch of “breeders”.
Elizalde says that Ducks are one of the simplest animals to raise. They are resilient against unpredictable weather changes and do not consume a lot of time to nurture and grow.
TMC, a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), has always been on the lookout for sustainable community projects to develop and to pass on to the residents of the company’s host communities, and the Environmental Department of TMC that takes care of the protection and enhancement of the environment in the mining communities came upon the exciting idea of balut production.
“After the initial learnings, we’ve warmed up to the system of caring for the ducks and we found out it’s a piece of cake really as we do the feeding and cleaning of cages in between our daily activities and would take turns in collecting the eggs that would be laid during night,” shares Elizalde.
“It is very important to document every challenge we’ve encountered,” says Vince Ivan Libao, OIC-Environmental Manager for TMC, and Elizalde’s immediate superior.
One of the bigger hurdles was when TMC did not have an incubator. The eggs would be sold to employees every time because it was difficult to hatch them into ducklings since mother ducks would not warm on their eggs and there were bush rats that feed on them at night.
“We could not grow healthy breeders because we could not hatch most of our eggs so an incubator became a necessity so we had one fabricated in Surigao City for P60,000 pesos” explains Libao.
But with an incubator, TMC started producing ducklings and perfected the system that now produce fertile eggs with better hatchability rate with the target to produce 500 ducklings in the next few months.
At the moment, TMC is able to hatch 60 ducklings at a time and is getting nearer to the realization of its dream of having an efficient balut production farm.
TMC mine site is located in barangays Hayanggabon, Urbiztondo, Taganito and Cagdianao, in the municipality of Claver, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.
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Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
Fishermen in a mining community harvest 12,000 kilos of bangus in 4 months
GAMAWA is a 21-strong fishermen’s cooperative in a mining community of barangay Wanke, Claver, Surigao del Norte. Republic Act 11535, creating the position of a Cooperatives Development Officer (CDO) mandatory in all local government units (LGUs), was signed into law last April 9. This directs the LGUs – from the municipal, city, and provincial levels – to appoint its own CDO. In Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC), a CDO is a regular job description – someone in charge of identifying promising groups in different sectors in the communities to guide and assist them to organize their own cooperatives. Edelina E. Peraz is the Community Development Coordinator at TMC and she says “as a mining company, TMC is tasked by law to ensure social and economic development of the communities and we have long acknowledged the significance of a successful cooperative to achieve this” says Peraz. One of the organizations that Peraz has been assisting since its inception is the Gagmay’ng Mananagat sa Wangke (GAMAWA), a cooperative of small fishermen in barangay Wanke, in Claver, Surigao del Norte. Last month, GAMAWA recorded another big harvest – a total of 4,270 kilos of bangus that converted a total sale of P480,238.00 pesos. But their biggest record was last December when they harvested 7,928 kilos of bangus that sold for a whopping P889,292.00. GAMAWA President, Felix Saranza’s leadership style is key to the success of the organization. CDOs, Urbiztondo (right) and Peraz (left) express that his success is TMC’s success as well. The success of GAMAWA also showcases the effective leadership of its president, Felix Saranza. “It is important to understand the interests of the individual member and of the whole group, to keep the organization intact, until everyone gets the taste of the fruits of everyone’s labor,” says Saranza. “It is a democracy, I cannot decide until everyone involved agrees, so it can be very hard sometime, but in the end, it is all worth it because members actively participate when they know they have a say in decision making,” Saranza adds. “We owe all our accomplishment to the support of TMC,” Saranza declares. Since 2017, TMC has inputted an accumulated fund of some P5.5 million pesos from the mining company’s Social Development Management Program to help GAMAWA build state-of-the-art fish cages in a 450-square meter area with 3 chambers that can handle 30,000 bangus fingerlings in a single cropping. “In a cooperative where you have members with different personal quirks, different economic challenges and demands, different issues, you need a strong leader respected by everyone to keep things together, and Mr. Saranza is perfect for the role” explains another CDO, Judy B. Urbiztondo, Senior Community Development Specialist for TMC Urbiztondo says the Co-op of GAMAWA has gone through a lot of challenges and sacrifices that taught the members valuable life lessons that got them to what they enjoy today – a strong cooperative and a sustainable livelihood. But success, according TMC’s CDOs, means the cooperative will be able to grow the fish farm bigger to better the lives of its 21 members for years and years to come. “Taganito Mining’s partnership with GAMAWA aims to prove the strength of a collaborative effort between the mining company and its communities toward a shared goal of empowering cooperatives,” explains Engr. Artemio E. Valeroso, Resident Mine Manager at TMC. Valeroso adds that another worthy take away from the success story of GAMAWA are the information from the members that help define how communities can actually take active part in the success of societies. Taganito Mining is located in Claver, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.
Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021
Taganito Mining is DOLE-Caraga's first 'safety seal' recipient in Surigao Norte
Photo: Engr. Valeroso receives the Safety Seal Certificate from DOLE Caraga RD Suyao Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC), subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), has been awarded the government's safety seal certification, the first company to be bestowed the recognition in the province. The certification came after a validation and technical inspection by the team from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional and provincial offices on September 2-3, 2021. Led by DOLE-Caraga Director Atty. Joffrey Suyao, the team determined that TMC has complied with the minimum public health standards related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "I want to emphasize the importance of observing our safety and health protocols among our companies, because as long as we operate, the health of our employees depends on it," Atty. Suyao said in the dialect. "If the workers are not healthy, the productivity would surely be affected." According to Suyao, the safety seal certification is a tripartite effort on the part of the workers, the management, and the government "that must all work together for us to achieve a safe and healthy working environment." Suyao said he was impressed upon entering TMC's premises, which involved a series of stringent health protocols for visitors. "We had to go through the safety protocols here, observe proper hand washing, temperature checking, checklist, etcetera. I was really impressed because these are the very things that our government requires," the DOLE-Caraga chief said. Meanwhile, TMC Resident Mine Manager Artemio Valeroso said the certification was "a testament of what we are doing in this establishment. There is a secret why TMC has been operating for a long time: TMC is always taking care of the people, of the community, and of course our employees." "Maintaining a good harmonious relationship with our stakeholders is important to us. Thank you to all of you for supporting TMC, sa ating mga contractors, managers, mining service providers, labor union, and all employees. Kung wala kayo, hindi din magiging ganito si Taganito Mining. We are all partners and we will do it as a team," Engr. Valeroso added. Valeroso vowed that with TMC being granted with the safety seal, "we have to sustain this and continue improving our programs and measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and we all stay safe, healthy and always bida." The Safety Seal Certification is a voluntary certification scheme that affirms that an establishment is compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government and uses or integrates its contact tracing with StaySafe.ph (or the SDN contact tracing app). The DOLE issues the Safety Seal for the manufacturing, construction sites, utilities (electric, water, gas, air conditioning supply, sewerage, waste management) information and communication companies (private publication, news, movie production, TV and radio companies), and warehouses. TMC applied for the safety certification as part of the company's commitment to comply beyond the regulatory standards mandated by the government. Among the measures employed by the company include mandatory wearing of face mask and shield, routine temperature checking, installation of foot baths, setup of handwashing facilities and alcohol stations, observance of social distancing and other minimum health protocols.
Philippine Resources - April 20, 2021
TMC pays P75.5 million in taxes to Claver LGU
As part of its commitment to contribute to local economy, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), handed over its tax payments amounting to P75.5 million to the municipality of Claver. The payments consist of P 65,329,304.37 million in Business Tax and P 10,169,769.60 in Real Property Tax which were handed last December 14, 2020 and January 20, 2021, respectively. The handover of tax payments was led by Mine Accountant Cristy Mae Comandante-Pariño, Division Manager Salvador Cabauatan and Comrel Manager Roel Paniza. On behalf of Claver LGU, the tax payments were received by Municipal Treasurer Caryl Cagas-Lukban, in the presence of Municipal Administrator Atty. Jeffrey Galido and Sanggunian Bayan members. “TMC is committed to creating a positive impact in our host and neighboring communities and one way we do this is by ensuring timely payment of our taxes which translates into projects and services for the community. This is on top of our Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program funds,” shares TMC Resident Mine Manager Artemio E. Valeroso. Based on data from the Commission on Audit consolidating the total assets of LGUs in 2019, the mining town of Claver ranked 1st among the richest municipalities in Mindanao with P 1.91 billion worth of assets. Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte ranked 6th among the richest provinces in the country with P 16.68 billion worth of assets. TMC is a four-time awardee of the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for Excellence in Reporting of payments made to the government. TMC also ranked 14th among the Department of Finance’s list of Top 500 taxpayers who filed their income tax returns ahead of the deadlines which were deferred due to lockdowns during the pandemic. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, TMC has mobilized over P 19.1 million to extend relief goods, medical supplies, test kits and other assistance to its host and neighboring communities in the province of Surigao del Norte.
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Philippine Resources - May 23, 2023
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH TVI RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (PHILS.) INC.
Photo credit: TVI Resource Development The Board of RTG Mining Inc. is pleased to announce that a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues with the Villar Family controlled Sage Capital and TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. (“TVIRD”) has been reached and a binding Memorandum of Agreement signed. On execution of the final documents, expected in the next month, all litigation that RTG had launched will be withdrawn as part of an agreed restructuring of the Mabilo Project. The Villar Family is one of the most prominent families in the Philippines and RTG is pleased to partner with them in the development of the Mabilo Project, which is a significant mining project for the country. The key terms of the agreement for RTG include the following: RTG (through SRM Gold Limited) will retain a 40% interest in Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation (“Mt. Labo”) with the project also developed by Mt. Labo, in line with Philippine regulatory requirements, with Sage Capital (which is owned by TVIRD) holding the remaining 60%; RTG will have a 2% net smelter royalty (“NSR”); RTG’s debt together with interest, currently in the order of US$27M (subject to audit) will be repaid out of the proceeds of Stage 1 of the project, the Direct Shipping Operation subject to customary requirements to address liquidity and ongoing operations of Mt. Labo; Funding arrangements for the project as between the major shareholders of Mt. Labo have been successfully renegotiated, (relieving RTG of a sole funding obligation) and replaced with a pro-rata funding obligation, together with a disproportionate funding obligation of Sage Capital, as set out below; With debt repayments in full and the NSR, RTG will be entitled to approximately 57% of the proceeds of Stage 1, the Direct Shipping Operation; RTG will be entitled to 40% of the operating cashflow of the project, together with the 2% NSR and repayment of its debt, which is currently in the order of US$27M; The first US$5M of expenditure for Mt. Labo (or 12 months of expenditure, whichever occurs the earlier), will be funded pro-rata between the two shareholders (ie RTG will provide 40%) and thereafter, Sage Capital/TVIRD will sole fund the next US$5M of expenditure, with all additional funding thereafter to be provided on a pro-rata basis; All parties are required to act in the best interests of the project and not compete; A shareholders’ agreement will be finalised which will provide typical minority interest protection clauses including reserve matters for voting including annual budgets and appointments of key personnel; Any disputes will be resolved by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre; and On completion of final signed documents, all litigation matters will be withdrawn and settled in full. With the restructuring of the Mabilo Project now agreed, over the balance of this year, the remaining permitting matters and financing plans will be finalised, a review of the 2016 Feasibility Study will be completed, together with finalising the acquisition of surface rights, following which, a commitment to development will be formalised by the Board of Mt. Labo. RTG is pleased with the outcome of the discussions and the co-operative and constructive approach adopted by the Villar Family representatives. RTG believes they can be a strong and positive partner to work with to take the Mabilo Project forward, with both a near term development and future exploration activities to expand the project, which will start to unlock the value of the project for all stakeholders, not only the local communities but for the country as a whole.
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
Mining Operational Excellence Through Digital Transformation
Part 1: Mining Operation Challenges and Mine Operations Management Domains 1 & 2. By Mae Ann Cabasag, EM Mining companies encounter numerous challenges throughout their operations. However, initiatives to mitigate these challenges and improve efficiency are often limited. Most of these limitations emanated from a common factor: the challenge of “poor visibility” in mining operations. A viable solution is to adopt digital transformation in mining operations by incorporating available real-time data into an integrated system— capable of ensuring automatic updates and reliable source of information. Through this, mining companies not only understand simulations and plans developed but also anticipate potential outcomes. Various mining industry analysts have found that using non-digital methods in the mining operations can lead to a 27% reduction in production time and 25% increase in data inaccuracy. For a mining company to remain competitive in an industry susceptible to operation challenges, i.e. production processes, workers’ and equipment performances, ore quality and quantity, compliance to regulations, and inter-departmental collaboration, it needs to embrace digital transformation. Dassault Systèmes Mine Operations Management provides transformative digital solution for mining companies to achieve excellence in their operations. Mine Operations Management (MOM) equips mining companies with an integrated system for their mining operations, enabling them to achieve efficient plan and schedule. This system integrates entire operation data into a single repository source of information, known as the “single source of truth”, ensuring complete transparency of the company’s processes from mine to port. By leveraging MOM, we can address the following global mining industry challenges: Maintaining competitiveness amidst market volatility. Eliminating waste materials, poor communication, and error duplication. Improving site productivity and efficiency. Utilizing assets and sharing best practices across the value chain. Ensuring an utmost level of safety. Reducing environmental impacts and achieving sustainable operations. The transformative digital solution, Mine Operations Management, is composed of eight work packages, split across four domains, namely: Data Management, Material Reconciliation, Operational Control, and Assets Performance. These domains help generate valuable insights from integrated operational data for rapid and informed strategic decision-making. The Data Management consists of Master Data Model and Integration Framework packages essential for material tracking, stockpile management, task and workforce management, machine performance, and asset maintenance. It enables users to manage master data objects such as Site, Material, Location, Equipment, and Operator through manual data entry or third-party source systems. With this, mining companies can ensure efficient and integrated management of critical data required for seamless operations. Material Reconciliation, on the other hand, consists of Material Tracking and Stockpile Management packages. Material Tracking enables us to track material movements across different stages, i.e. from the least accurate grade estimated in geological model to the most precise information on shipped material quantity and quality, to account for any inaccuracies. While in the Stockpile Management, users not only can calculate daily stockpile balance, add Survey or Sampling data, analyze inventory levels and trends, create graphical representation of the stockpile balances and movements, calibrate stockpile using volumetric survey and sampling, enables comparison of different models, track movement genealogy and review stockpile slices for stockpiles with LIFO and FIFO calculation type but can create a different type of analysis such as actual vs plan vs model. In the upcoming article, we will explore the two remaining domains of Mine Operations Management to where assigning operational tasks, tracking compliance to plan, monitoring equipment down to workers’ performance are feasible in the mining operations. To know more about MOM, mining innovations and solutions, contact Dassault Systèmes Value Solutions Partner: Paramina Earth Technologies Inc. through firstname.lastname@example.org References: Make it happen for mine execution excellence: Dassault Systèmes®. MEGATrends. (n.d.). https://events.3ds.com/make-it-happen-for-mine-execution-excellence Dassault Systèmes. (2021, August 12). Digging deeper: The virtual solution for Mining Operational Excellence. Dassault Systèmes. https://discover.3ds.com/virtual-mining-operational excellence dassault3ds. (2022, June 16). The mining industry needs to adapt, but how? Dassault Systèmes blog. https://blog.3ds.com/brands/delmia/the-mining-industry-needs-to-adapt-but-how/
Philippine Resources - May 22, 2023
Customer’s First Choice: Sandvik Philippines Delivers 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Drills to Filminera Resources Corporation
Sandvik Philippines has successfully commissioned and delivered to loyal customer Filminera Resources Corporation (“Filminera”) their 11th and 12th Pantera DP1500i Top-hammer Surface Drills last 25 January 2023 at the Masbate Gold Project (MGP) located in Masbate Island, Philippines. Photo shows Sandvik Technician Larry Lugnas (second from left) and Service Operations Manager Jorge Cabello (third from left) handing over the drills to MGP representatives. Located 360 km southeast of Manila, the Masbate Mine is operated by Filminera, the Philippine subsidiary of TSX- and NYSE-listed B2Gold with headquarters in Vancouver. In 2022, the mine produced a record-setting 212,728 oz of gold out of 7.93M tonnes of ore milled at an average grade of 1.11 g/t. B2Gold also operates the Fekola Mine in Mali and the Otjikoto Mine in Namibia. Their projects under development include the Anaconda Area in Mali and the Gramalote JV Project in Colombia. The Masbate Mine started operating in 2008 initially using 4 x Atlas Copco ECM660 Drills owned and operated by the erstwhile mining contractor, Leighton. When the opportunity for re-fleeting came about in 2012, Sandvik succeeded in winning the tender which came packaged with a full maintenance contract for 24,000 service meter hours of five years. Ironically, the said maintenance contract almost led to the cancellation of the order for the first 4 x DP1500i due to a dispute with the rates. Eventually, both Leighton and Sandvik were able to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement, and Sandvik ran the service contract for five years without incurring penalties in the availability guarantees. The contract was so profitable, Sandvik even had to share some of the residual profit at the end with Filminera under the pain-and-gain proviso of the contract. The next re-fleeting opportunity came in 2017, with the Masbate Mine. This time, there was no service contract attached to the equipment and Leighton was no longer the mining contractor; the mine has shifted to owner-miner operation. Sandvik managed to secure the repeat order for another batch of 4x DP1500i, banking on the proven performance and reliability of the first four. That brings the total to 8 units. Drill numbers 9 and 10 were ordered in July 2020 and delivered in 2021. Numbers 11 and 12 in the photo above were ordered in January 2022 and are now handed over to the customer. Filminera ordered two more DP1500i’s in November 2022; these machines are now awaiting completion in Tampere, for delivery later this year. That should bring the total to 14 x DP1500i units spread over 11 years for our most loyal Pantera DP1500i customer in the Philippines – Filminera Resources Corporation!
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