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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 - January 30, 2023
PHILEX MINING GEARS UP FOR EXPANSION, SIGNIFIES INTEREST IN MACAWIWILI
In photo at the signing of the term sheet between PMC and MGMDCI were: (seated, left to right) Felicisimo A. Feria, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Michael L. Escaler, all representing MGMDCI; Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman; and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., Philex President and CEO; (standing, left to right) Atty. Katrina Janine Sta. Ana, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Bryan George Manzano, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Michelle Carisse Balois, Partner, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; Atty. Daneia Isabelle Palad, Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Winston Cruz, Vice-President and General Counsel, Philex Mining Corporation; Romeo B. Bachoco, Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino, Director, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Barbara Anne C. Migallos, Director and Corporate Secretary, Philex Mining Corporation and Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Raymond Francis Jamora, Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; and Atty. Michael John Tantoco, Jr., Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices. (PMC photo) Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest copper and gold producers in Southeast Asia, recently set into motion its plans for expansion with the signing of a Term Sheet with Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. (“MGMDCI”) in simple ceremonies in Makati City. Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. is a 90-year old company engaged in mineral exploration and production in Itogon, Benguet. With over 800 hectares of contract area under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, the Company has been exploring various mineral deposits, including gold and copper, for several decades. The Term Sheet outlines the parties’ clear intentions to explore commercial, financial, and technical avenues in preparation for possible shares acquisition by the Company in MGMDCI. Activities to kick off this partnership will include conduct of due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Itogon, Benguet Province., located adjacent to the existing Padcal Mine of the Company. Signing the Term Sheet on behalf of the Company were Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., President and CEO; while representing the shareholders of MGMDCI were Michael G. Escaler, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Felicisimo A. Feria. The signing was also witnessed by directors and officers of the Company as well as counsel for both parties. “Our interest to pursue investments in the Macawiwili property” according to Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., President and CEO, “is part of our business direction for this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions.” “We need to hit the ground with this at the soonest possible time,” Austin adds, “considering that this property is adjacent to our Padcal mine and would go a long way in fulfilling company plans for expansion and extension of the life-of-mine of Padcal. “This is a good addition or extension to the Padcal Mine,” according to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman. “I hope that this is the start of something good and that it would ride the wave of higher metal prices in gold and copper.” Pangilinan emphasized that “any addition, expansion, or extension to the Padcal Mine would greatly benefit not just our employees and their families, but also our host and neighboring communities, and our nation as a whole.” Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DMCI Holdings, SMPC among best governed PLCs
Photo caption (left to right): SMPC Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager Joseph D. Susa, DMCI Holdings Board Advisor and SMPC Independent Director Honorio O. Reyes-Lao and SMPC SVP, Chief Risk, Compliance and Performance Officer Junalina S. Tabor. Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings and its energy subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) were among the Philippine listed companies recognized for their corporate governance performance by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). DMCI Holdings received the 2 Golden Arrow recognition while SMPC was awarded the 3 Golden Arrow recognition. Both have been ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) Golden Arrow awardees since 2019. The awards were conferred after the two companies exhibited observable conformance with the Philippine Code of Corporate Governance and internationally recommended corporate governance practices as espoused by the ACGS. The ACGS measures the performance of the companies in the areas of facilitating the rights and the equitable treatment of shareholders, how they relate to their different stakeholders, ensuring transparency and accountability through timely disclosure of material information, and how the board guides the company strategically, monitors the management, and ensures the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. Over 80 Philippine listed companies were feted during the in-person awarding ceremony in Sheraton Manila Hotel last January 20. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DOTr to prevent more delays in PNR Clark Phase 2 project
Photo credit: DOTr The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will work closely with the contractor of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project to ensure that issues are addressed after its projected completion date was delayed by eight months. In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said the project, initially slated for completion in June 2024, has been delayed until June 2025 due to the delay in the turnover of the land to project contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction. “Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay,” it said. About 48 buildings and facilities are expected to be built by POSCO at the project site, meant to be the Clark Depot of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). “As of December 31, 2022, more than 33% of the planned construction has been completed,” it said. In addition to buildings and facilities, the Clark Depot will have 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking areas for the trains and 12 other tracks to access maintenance facilities. During a site visit at the project site, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot is where the operations control center will be located which will serve as the “heart of operations” of the rail service. “It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DOTr will work closely with [the contractor], so we can fix problems and address issues,” Bautista said. The 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the NSCR and will link multiple cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project is seen to cut travel time between Malolos City in Bulacan province and Clark, Pampanga province from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. This part of the NSCR also includes the Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport through a 55-minute train ride. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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