How Safety Performance is Measured in PH Mine Sites
by Marcelle P. Villegas - March 21, 2022
Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association presented the virtual edition of 67th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) last November 24-26, 2021 with the theme "Pusong Minero: Celebrating 67 years of responsible mining with the quiet heroes of the pandemic." The event was also made possible in cooperation with the DENR-MGB.
One of the highlights of this annual event is the awarding of the best mining companies. The winners of the 2021 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award are the following:
~ Mineral Processing Category: Mindanao Mineral Processing & Refining Corporation
~ Quarry Operation Category: Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc. – Bulacan
~ Surface Mining Operation Category: Berong Nickel Corporation
PMSEA and DENR- MGB also recognize the Mine Safety - Best Practices and key speakers from the industry who have stories and milestones to share during the occasion.
One of the guest speakers was Engr. Marcial H. Mateo (Chief, Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, Mines and Geosciences Bureau). His presentation’s title is “Mine Safety and Health Management”.
Laws on Mine Safety and Health
Engr. Mateo’s topic is relevant not only to people within the industry but also to those who believe in anti-mining sentiments. Why? It is possible that some people dislike mining because they are unfamiliar with the complexities of owning and managing a mine site.
Mining is not just getting minerals from the ground. There are laws in our country that regulate and mandates a lot of requirements from mining companies. We have laws about the protection of our environment, and laws that protect the rights and safety of workers as well. Engr. Mateo’s presentation starts with an enumeration of Philippines laws that cover mining companies, particularly Laws on Mine Safety and Health.
From Mines and Geosciences Bureau, they have:
~ RA 7942 - PH Mining Act
~ DAO No. 2010-21 - IRR of RA 7942
~ DAO No. 2000-98 - Mine Safety and Health Standards, 2000
~ DAO No. 1997-30 - Small-scale Mine Safety Rules and Regulations
~ MC No. 2021-006 - Safety and Health, Environment and Social Development and Management (SHES) Manual
~ MC No. 2018-02 - Guidelines for Compliance Monitoring and Rating Scorecard of Mining Permits/Contracts
Mining companies also comply with laws from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), namely:
~ PD 442 - Labor Code of the Philippines
~ RA 11058 - An Act Strengthening the Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards
~ RA 10757 - An Act reducing the retirement age of mine workers from 60 to 50
~ OSH Standards as Amended, 1989 (Yellow Book)
From Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), mining companies follow the:
~ PD 1185 - Fire code of the Philippines
~ RA 9561 - Laws on illegal possession, manufacture, dealing in, acquisition or disposition of explosives
Lastly, Department of Health’s laws on health and safety addresses particular health concerns and diseases. Mining companies comply with these laws and guidelines as well.
~ PD No. 856 - Sanitation Code of the Philippines
~ RA 9165 - Drug free workplace
~ RA 11036 - Mental Health Service in the Workplace
~ EO 187-03 - Tuberculosis
~ DOLE DA 05-2010 - Hepatitis B
~ RA 8504 - AIDS and HIV
Safety and Health Workplan
A workplan in important in a mine site as this provides guidelines on how to properly implement the laws and requirements that covers the various aspects of health and safety.
Mine Safety and Health Standards
This states that “All Contractors, Permittees, Lessees, Permit Holders and Service Contractors shall strictly comply with all the rules and regulations embodied under Department Administrative Order No. 2000-98, otherwise known as the ‘Mine Safety and Health Standards.’"
Annual Safety and Health Program
The Regional Director shall require a Contractor, Permittee, Lessee, or Permit Holder to submit a Safety and Health Program covering its area of operations within fifteen (15) working days before the start of every calendar year with the following terms and conditions listed in Elements of SHP chart.
DAO 2000-98 - Mine Safety and Health Standards
In order to assure mine safety and health standards, there are certain steps and requirements to follow. DAO 2000-98 provides some specifications on the matter. The first step is the establishment of a safety and health organization, and then having trained safety officers within the organization.
“Employer shall establish and provide for a safety and health office which is independent from other offices under the direct and immediate control and supervision of the Manager who shall be primarily responsible for the formulation and effective implementation of the company's safety and health program and enforcement of these rules and regulations.”
What are the basic qualifications of a Safety Officer? All Safety Engineers and Safety Inspectors of mining/quarrying operations shall be duly registered with the Regional Office and the corresponding permit shall be issued for this purpose (MGB Form Nos. 15-1, 15-2 and 15-3). For permanent registration of Safety Engineers, one is required to be a current licensed Mining Engineer with at least one (1) year supervisory experience in mining /quarrying operations and/or mine safety work; or currently licensed Engineer, Geologist or Chemist with at least five (5) years experience in mining/quarrying operations and/or mine safety work. The applicant for the position must undergo 40 hours of OSH training/seminars.
Permanent Registration for Safety Inspectors should be a graduate in any Engineering, Geology or Chemistry course with at least one (1) year experience in safety work or two (2) years of experience in mining operations; or a college undergraduate in any Engineering, Geology or Chemistry course with at least two (2) years of experience in safety work or three (3) years of experience in mining operations; or at least high school graduate with four (4) years of experience in safety work or five (5) years of experience in mining operations.
A Permanent Safety Engineer/Inspector permits shall be subject to renewal every three (3) years with the Regional Office. A Temporary Safety Engineer/Inspector Permit shall have a term of one (1) year from the date of issuance thereof, renewable every year.
Employees with at least ten (10) years of experience either in safety work or mining operation may be deputized by the employer as safety men, with the designation of a deputy safety inspector which shall be reported to the Regional Office.
Health Hazard Control
There are a lot of health hazards in a mine site. The guideline states, “An employer may not establish an emergency hospital and/or dental clinic in his workplace as required where there is a hospital or dental clinic located not more than five (5) kms. away from the workplace, or which can be reached in twenty-five (25) minutes of travel. Appropriate standby emergency transport vehicle shall be provided by the employer for the immediate transfer of the sick/injured worker to the hospital.”
Other safety measures that are required include having a Central Safety and Health Committee (CSHC) which is supposed to be established within one month from the start of the operation. The CSHC shall provide a forum for consultation and cooperation between the employer or manager of the mine, employees and members in initiating, developing and implementing measures designed to ensure the safety and health of employees at the mine. It shall also conduct a monthly safety meeting and the minutes of which to be submitted to the manager/employer and the Bureau/Regional Office.
Safety and Health Training is also required to be provided by the employer to the employees. Employees with no surface/underground mining experience shall experience shall receive no less than twenty-four (24) hours of training. And the, all employees shall receive no less than eight (8) hours of refresher training no less than once each twelve (12) months.
Another requirement is the Emergency Response and Preparedness Program. The employer shall ensure the preparation of an emergency response preparedness program prior to commencement of any mining operation which covers the identification of hazards that might cause emergency at the mine, assessment of every perceivable risk that may lead to a medical emergency, and to have controlling measures that will prevent or deal with the emergency. An emergency drill should be conducted quarterly for effectiveness of the program. Employers is required to submit to MGB a copy furnished to the Regional Office, a report on the conduct of the emergency drill.
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Marcelle P. Villegas - March 21, 2022
Paste Backfill System - A Game Changer in Safety in the Mine
There are many ways and technological advancements that are used in mine sites that prevent disasters and address issues like ground stability at end of mine. One of the most fascinating techniques used by OceanaGold Corp. in assuring the safety of employees and protecting the environment is the use of the Paste Backfill System. Paste backfill is an engineered mixture of fine solid particles (with binder) and water. The paste mixture can be placed in stopes (an excavation in a mine or quarry in the form of a step or notch), and binders may be added (or not) depending on the kind of strength needed for the backfill. Paste backfills are also important in tailings management and mine backfill alternative. Binders are used in paste backfill where structural strength is required of the backfill and where resistance to liquefaction is necessary.
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Philippine Resources - August 05, 2022
NICKEL ASIA CORPORATION ANNOUNCES P3.83B NET INCOME FOR H1 2022, UP 41% YoY
Photo Credit: Arrow Creatives Nickel Asia Corporation, the Philippines’ largest producer of lateritic nickel ore, reported a 41-percent increase in attributable net income for the first semester this year. Based on unaudited financial and operating results for the six-month period ended June 30, 2022, attributable net income increased to P3.83 billion from P2.73 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 19 percent to P6.33 billion from P5.32 billion the year prior. Despite lower ore volume sold during the period, revenues increased by 7 percent to P11.78 billion from P11.01 billion last year, owed largely to higher nickel ore prices and favorable exchange rates. NAC’s four operating mines sold a combined 6.95 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore during the first half of the year, down 16 percent from 8.30 million WMT in the same period last year. The drop in sales volume was almost in direct proportion to unrealized workable days caused by inclement weather that adversely affected the Company’s mining operations during the period. The weighted average nickel ore sales price over the first half of year 2022 rose by 18 percent to $30.03 per WMT against $25.54 per WMT in the same period last year. The Company also realized P52.56 per US dollar from these nickel ore sales, a 9-percent increase from P48.25 last year. Breaking down the ore sales, the Company exported 3.12 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $42.05 per WMT during the six-month period compared to 4.55 million WMT at $37.62 per WMT in the same period last year. Likewise, the Company delivered 3.83 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME) and realized an average price of $12.52 per pound of payable nickel. This compares to 3.74 million WMT at $7.92 per pound of payable nickel in 2021. Expressed in US dollar per WMT, the average price for the deliveries to the HPAL plants were $20.23 and $10.85 in the first half of 2022 and 2021, respectively. “The first half of 2022 was not without its challenges especially for our mining operations, brought about by weather conditions at our mine sites, particularly in Surigao, and continuing lockdowns in China, our major market,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO. "However, the higher LME nickel price and stronger US dollar tempered the impact on our revenues.” Owing to the higher LME nickel price during the period, NAC also recognized gains from its equity share in investments in the two HPAL plants in the combined amount of P1.09 billion against P244.1 million year-on-year. The stronger US dollar further enabled NAC to log a 353-percent hike in net foreign exchange gains from its foreign currency-denominated net financial assets to P863.5 million from P190.6 million the year prior. Total operating cash costs decreased by 2 percent year-on-year to P5.19 billion from P5.32 billion last year. On a per-WMT sold basis, total operating cash costs increased to P747 per WMT compared to P641 per WMT in 2021. For the Company’s renewable energy business, its subsidiary, Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI) energized in June 2022 another 38-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Subic, Zambales, bringing total capacity on this site to 100MW. For 2022, the Subic plant has been operating at an 18- 19% plant efficiency factor with 90% of generation contracted under power sales agreements. EPI has realized an average tariff of P4.65 per kilowatt hour. EPI has another 100MW service contract for the Subic site and will commence construction of a 68-MW farm in August. Completion is expected by the third quarter of next year. EPI was also chosen by Shell Overseas Investments B.V. to be its exclusive local partner in a solar, onshore wind, and battery storage joint venture that aims to contribute up to 3GW into the Philippines’ renewable capacity. NAC is evaluating a range of financing alternatives including accessing global debt capital markets to raise EPI’s share of the equity required for an initial 1GW target by 2028, among other uses. The Company’s strong financial position will allow it to be opportunistic in evaluating funding options that meet the primary objective of maintaining a flexible low-cost capital structure. “We remain confident that our mining and renewable energy businesses provide a solid foundation on which to realize the OneNAC Vision’s twin objectives, which is to become the premier ESG investment in the country and to be counted among the Top 25 PSE-listed companies in terms of market capitalization by 2025,” said Zamora. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022
Further shallow copper mineralisation identified at MCB
Figure 3. Cross section of drill hole MCB-039 relative to the interpreted geology and significant assay results. We (Celsius Resources) are pleased to announce we have received further shallow and high-grade copper assay results from the ongoing drilling program at our flagship MCB copper-gold project, held under our Philippine subsidiary Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”). The results continue to identify new positions of shallow mineralisation which are in line with other recent drilling results from holes MCB-036, MCB-037 and MCB-038 (see CLA announcements dated 13 December 2021, 23 May 2022 and 4 July 2022 respectively) confirming the presence of an extensive shallow higher-grade position. The results from MCB-039 were designed to further expand the size of the shallow higher-grade copper zones which are considered to have an important positive impact on early mining options at MCB. The current drill hole in progress (MCB-040) is similarly designed to further expand the higher-grade copper mineralisation leading to potential improvements to the economics of the already positive Scoping Study at MCB as reported by Celsius on 1 December 2021. “The results from MCB are continuing to grow the size of the shallow higher-grade copper zones,” said Country Operations Director, Peter Hume. “We are getting much better definition now on the various high-grade zones, which are important for the optimisation of the MCB mine plan. We can see many good high-grade intersections coming together to expand on the earlier understanding of these high-grade zones. Where we get multiple high-grade zones staked on top of each other, we can achieve outstanding results, as recently announced from hole MCB-038 which intersected 611.4m @ 1.39% copper and 0.75g/t gold from 32.5m.” RESULTS FROM MCB-039 Drill hole MCB-039 was drilled to further confirm the interpretation that further shallow high-grade positions exist as a relatively flat body extending into the surrounding host rocks (see Figures 2 and 3). This drill hole was more specifically targeted to fill a gap in the drilling information where there was previously defined lower grade copper mineralisation. The results from MCB-039 have confirmed the further extensions to the higher-grade copper mineralisation as part of a series of relatively flat lying, high-grade zones which are extending away from vertically orientated feeder structures which are all closely related to an intrusive Tonalite rock (Figure 3). Figure 2. Location of MCB-039 drill hole relative to recent and historical diamond drilling at MCB. A large broader envelope of copper mineralisation at a lower cut-off grade at approximately 0.2% copper also continues to be better defined, highlighting the very large scale of the copper-gold mineralisation at the MCB deposit. Table 1: Significant intersections from drill holes MCB-039. Article courtesy of Celsius Resources. Full press release can be found HERE
Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022
Diokno banks on mining for sustained economic recovery, expansion
Photo credit: PNA - Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the mining industry is a potential source of sustained economic growth as he underscored the benefit of mobilizing investments for mine development. “The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high. The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources,” he said Wednesday at the listing of Philex Mining Corporation’s (Philex) common shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Philex is mobilizing investments for the development of its Silangan underground copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte. In a disclosure to the PSE, the company said it is offering a maximum of 842 million common shares at the rate of one offer share for every 5.8674 shares owned for PHP3.15 each to raise a total of PHP2.652 billion new equity. The stocks rights offering (SRO) period started on July 12, 2022 and ended July 25, 2022. The Silangan project, considered one of the biggest copper-gold mines in the country, is planned to be mined in two phases. The first phase has a mineable ore reserve of 81 million metric tonnes which will be mined for 22 years at a rate of 4 million tonnes per year. The mine is targeted to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025. Diokno said Philex’ SRO listing demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects. He said the offering means more jobs will be created, local economies will be reinvigorated, and additional revenues will be contributed to the government. The Department of Finance (DOF) estimates that the project will generate around PHP8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life. Diokno said the listing sends a strong signal to the mining industry that the country's capital markets are viable instruments for fast tracking the development of large mining projects. He said the Marcos administration is committed to continue creating an enabling environment for mining activities to flourish in the country as he looks forward to similar listings in the future. “We recognize that apart from boosting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” he added. Diokno said the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices. He said the mining industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities, and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda. “This is a non-negotiable condition so we can guarantee the sustainability of the industry and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” he said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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