Philippine Ducks Thrive in TVIRD’s Sulphide Dam
by Philippine Resources - March 29, 2022
Photo: Philippine Ducks (Anas Luzonica), though not classified as “endangered,” are a vulnerable indigenous species that found sanctuary in TVIRD’s tailings dam. At its peak, close to 20 percent of these waterbirds’ total population may have been in Canatuan.
Oftentimes, the silence of TVIRD’s Sulphide Dam is broken only by the loud and successive quacking of the waterbirds that made the company’s Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) its sanctuary for the last seven years. The quacking is then followed by splashing on the calm waters – and one can only surmise that the Philippine Ducks (Anas Luzonica) are thriving!
Visitors of the company are always in awe of the dam’s size – some 34 hectares wide and120 meters deep. The TSF, which was used during the company’s copper-zinc mining operations, is a structural beauty in itself. Surrounded by lush and cool Mt. Canatuan, it looks like a lake with clear, green water. And the presence of the Philippine Ducks makes the man-made lake even more interesting.
Muhammad Faz Ur Rahman J. Werble, Ecosystem Management Specialist of the DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Siocon, confirmed the presence of the Philippine Ducks at the Sulphide Dam.
“The Philippine Ducks are migratory birds and are endemic to the Philippines,” he said.
Werble has been heading a team of CENRO personnel in conducting the Annual Asian Waterbirds Census for three consecutive years now. He said the reason it is conducted annually is because of the presence of a large number of threatened endemic Philippine Ducks.
“It is possible that the ducks come from nearby areas and chose to stay there because the Sulphide Dam is protected and no hunting is allowed,” he added.
Werble also disclosed that the Philippine Ducks are dependent on wetlands for its food, shelter and breeding ground. It feeds on shrimp, fish, insects, and vegetation, which he believes are abundant in the area.
According to online sources, Philippine Ducks are large dabbling ducks that “feed mainly at the surface rather than by diving.” They are classified as “vulnerable” because it has a small population and undergoing a rapid continuing decline due to extensive over-hunting and loss of habitats. As few as an estimated 5,000 remain all over the country.
“The Annual Asian Waterbird Census is done every month of January of the year by CENRO Siocon to monitor the number and migration of bird species, including the Philippine Ducks at TVIRD’s dam,” said Werble.
During the first census that he conducted in 2019, Werble said he was happy to count more than 500 Philippine Ducks at the tailings facility. In 2020, its population reached 950 but came down to around 700 in 2021 due to migration. “These birds are a migratory specie. It migrates from one place to another.”
At its peak, close to 20 percent of these waterbirds’ total population may have been in Canatuan. It is also likely that this figure will rise during the next migration.
Aside from Philippine Ducks, the TVIRD’s tailings storage facility is often visited by Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) and Hawk Eagles (Nisaetus Cirrhatus) – which like the Philippine Ducks, also hunt for food there. Different kinds of bats, birds and snakes like the Philippine Cobra also found their home in the surrounding forest area.
Even during the copper-zinc mining operation, the Sulphide Dam is laden with freshwater fish that the Canatuan locals identified as hito (cat fish), kasili (eel) and halwan (mudfish), to name a few.
Tribal leaders in Canatuan agree on the observations of visitors that at the foot of the lush Mt. Canatuan lies a beautiful lake – a refreshing view to anyone who wants to savor the silence of the mountain and its surrounding.
A silence that can only be disturbed by the vigorous quacking sound of the Philippine Ducks that continue to thrive in its new habitat.
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Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
Imelda Residents: Help Came When We Needed It Most
A helping hand. TVIRD’s Community Relations team led by Khalil Tabernero distributed food packs to Imelda Town’s flood victims who were lining-up alongside the company’s service vehicle. Physical distancing was strictly implemented in the queues while some food packs were delivered directly to households by the team. “It was a touching gesture. The assistance provided to us came when we needed it most. Thank you so much, TVIRD,” said Imelda Town residents who were provided with food packs by TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD). The assistance came after the devastating storm battered the town and hit Barangay Poblacion the hardest. Danny Gamil, leader of a barangay purok (a subset of a barangay) and neighbor Nolyn G. Palme said the arrival of the food packs helped their families survive for days after Storm Crising brought heavy flooding. Gamil is one of the town’s earliest settlers. He said all the residents of his purok and others of this barangay received the food packs delivered by the company’s Community Relations personnel who were led by Khalil Pope Tabernero. The company’s efforts provided immediate relief to an estimated 400 families in the municipality. Earlier, TVIRD provided assistance to some 250 families from Barangays Dimalinao, Kahayagan and Dipili directly after Crising battered these barangays with strong floods and extraordinary rainfall. PAGASA warned of “isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods and rain-induced landslides” in vulnerable areas. Specifically for Zamboanga del Sur, this is not the first time that a natural disaster of this magnitude brought savage destruction to homes and farmlands. A touching gesture “I was really touched, seeing all those goods delivered to us by TVIRD. Its arrival comforted us, made us see the goodness of men,” said Palme, 29-year old wife of a fish vendor and mother of three. She said that their family had no income for days and that she and her husband have been clearing their house of debris after it was submerged by flood water. “Everything was washed away by the flood. We only salvaged our TV set and a cooking utensil. We are hard-up and do not have income. Adding to our misery was the lockdown imposed on us again – we cannot even go out. But thanks to TVIRD’s food packs, which sustained us for several days,” Palme said. Imelda food packs being distributeded Farmer and tricycle driver Gerson F. Bacleta, said TVIRD’s help was unexpected, especially since Imelda is located almost 50 kilometers from TVIRD’s facilities in Bayog Municipality, Zamboanga del Sur Province. “We did not expect it, but I am grateful because the assistance helped feed my family for three days. It was the only assistance that we received after the storm,” he said. “Sadly, my rice land is buried with mud and can no longer be salvaged,” Bacleta shared. He would have harvested about a month after the storm. Devastating flood Gamil said the May 14 flood was “devastating.” However, he also refuted reports that it was the first time Imelda town experienced this kind of flooding. “Hesus, 47 anyos na ko. Dili lang kay kini ang baha nga nakahatag ug daku nga kadaut sa among lungsod. May mga baha kaniadto nga nalunopan pod ang mga balay (Jesus! I am 47 years old already. This is not the only flood that brought so much destruction to our town. There were floods before that also submerged houses here),” he said. Imelda is a fourth-class municipality situated along Sibugay River, which is considered the longest body of water in Sibugay Province. During the May 14 flooding, a huge volume of water from the river found its way to Imelda and other towns of the province.
Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021
From Educators to Licensed Professionals: TVIRD Scholars Make Waves in Their Chosen Fields
Photo Caption: Our future. Children study and play at the Canatuan Elementary and National High School – an institution that TVIRD helped build during its operations in the area from 2004-2014, and from which time the company has been the host municipality’s strongest partner in promoting responsive education. (TVIRD file photo) Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte / July 2021 – She knows what it is to be poor at a young age, being born to poor parents and raised by a single mother who died while she was in her primary years. The harrowing experience of being bullied because of poverty made Joanamarie Gabayan vow to have a stable job in the future. At 19, she fulfilled her promise to herself and joined the academe where a decent, fulfilling and stable job as a professional teacher awaited her. Joanamarie, “Joan” to family and friends, earned her degree in elementary education in 2015. She took and passed the professional board examination for teachers then and landed a teaching job the following year – thanks to the scholarship program of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) in Canatuan. Now 25 years old and already married, Joan is currently teaching the Subanon children at Barangay Tabayo Elementary School of this town. Assigned as an Indigenous People Education (IPEd) teacher by the Department of Education (DepEd), she instructs her pupils on basic education that is responsive to their context, respects their identities and promotes the values of their indigenous knowledge, skills and other aspects of their cultural heritage – all in line with DepEd Order 50 series of 2016. Looking back at her humble beginning, Joan said she is forever grateful to the company that helped her realize her dream. “I could not have reached this far without TVIRD,” she said. Giving back Police Corporal Rasul Agang, also a former scholar of the company agrees with her. A graduate of BS in Criminology at a state university in Siocon town, Corporal Agang is now proudly serving his “kababayans” as a member of the Siocon Police Station. At 27, Rasul said he “walks the talk” of the PNP Motto which is to “Serve and protect.” A son of a fisherman, Rasul shared that ever since he was young, he wanted to become a police officer. “That was my dream, and I was able to achieve it through the help of the company. I am always proud of being a scholar and part of the TVIRD family, knowing that it is a responsible mining company,” he said. Rasul cited TVIRD’s ongoing final mine rehabilitation in Canatuan, which started in 2016. The program consists of “re-greening” and restoring the company’s former mine site to its former condition and covers all disturbed areas during its 10-year mining operations from 2004. Equally thankful is geologist-scholar Ryan Lumabi, also a Subanon from Sitio Canatuan. Ryan currently works as a project geologist at Premium Megastructures Inc. in Misamis Oriental. “I just want to say thank you very much to TVIRD for making my dream possible. It really was impossible for me to reach my dream given that we were poor. But (they) gave me the opportunity to study and graduate as well as assisted me financially while taking the board examinations,” he said. Investing in education “TVIRD believes that education plays a vital role in empowering its Subanon partners; hence, the company must invest on it,” according to TVIRD President Yulo Perez who was then Canatuan General Manager who institutionalized the company’s College Scholarship Program in early 2005. According to him the program seeks to provide the poor but deserving Subanons with access to education so they will be able to help the tribe’s elders in managing the development of their homeland – all according to their needs and outlook, and within their cultural and traditional framework. Also included in the grant were underprivileged but deserving non-tribal scholars residing within the immediate community and the host municipality of Siocon. From 2004 to 2020, TVIRD spent more than Php11-million pesos for its scholarship program. The amount is on top of the construction cost of the first school buildings and library of Canatuan Elementary and National High School as well as the salaries of both school’s first four school teachers. TVIRD also provided school buses for the pupils and students of both schools. The first bus could accommodate 48 passengers and ferried the children as far as Sitio Kilometer 8, a sub-village of Kilalaban of the neighboring town of Baliguian, and Sitio Paduan of Barangay Candiz in Siocon town. When TVIRD concluded its Canatuan operations in 2014, it also produced professional teachers, nurses, midwives, civil engineers, agriculturists, geologists, an environmental engineer, a forester and a member of the Philippine Navy. Geologist Ryan Lumabi mentioned earlier that the education provided to him by the company gave him the fighting chance to reach his dream. “Mining may cease, and TVIRD may eventually leave Canatuan. But the education it provided will live on in the hearts of its scholars whose lives were touched and changed for the better,” he concluded.
Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
One Year Hence: Communities are at the Heart of Agata COVID-19 Initiatives
Photo Credit: TVI Resources - Agusan del Norte PDRRMC receives COVID-19 Kits that include rubber boots, alcohol, face shields, face masks, gloves, and water supplies. It has been more than a year ago since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as global pandemic. This deadly virus triggered devastating economic and social disruption as it shuttered business establishments and affected millions with death and disease. By the end of the first quarter in 2020, the Philippines was likewise left vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. In active response to the needs of the community, Agata Mining Ventures Inc. remained committed more than ever to serving its stakeholders by rolling-out projects that aimed to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic. COVID-19 initiatives At the onset of the pandemic, the company distributed various Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from Manila as part of its immediate response to the needs of medical frontliners in the Mindanao region. Along with mother company, TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), Agata distributed critical PPEs: N95 face masks, face shields and surgical and examination gloves to protect frontliners, including local government personnel, medical workers, police, civilian volunteers and checkpoint personnel. It also provided relief to more than 10,000 families in its respective areas and sourced majority of its fresh vegetables from farmers and other goods from local establishments. The company’s initiative did not only address food shortage but also provided a source of income for local producers. Aside from directly supporting the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks, Agata also aided its communities by capacitating its people with new skills. The company’s Mabakas Techno Demo Farm provided scholarships and trainings for the locals, bringing its total number of scholars since 2018 to almost 4,000. The National Certificate courses at Mabakas are funded by the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds and conducted in partnership with the country’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These courses also aim to help the graduates obtain alternative livelihood and tap economic opportunities despite the pandemic. Agata extended additional assistance to displaced students by providing school equipment to enable them to study from home. The company distributed heavy-duty photocopiers and paper supplies to partners Barangay Tinigbasan National High School and Elementary School, Barangay Lawigan Elementary School and Kauswagan De Oro Elementary School in Barangay E. Morgado. A reliable partner Today, Agata continues to performs its role in building communities as it creates employment opportunities for the general welfare of its stakeholders. During the pandemic, the company recruited a total of 78 new personnel – majority of whom are from Caraga. “I am thankful that despite COVID-19 I am able to get a new job. I know it is not easy to be employed, given our situation now,” stated Precious Erap, resident of Butuan – a newly-hired purchaser at Agata. Dareem Angob, a resident of Santiago Municipality of this province, expressed that her ‘acquired knowledge’ from the Mabakas Organic Farming course, which she took during the pandemic, is very useful and that she now has a vegetable garden right at her doorstep. Agata likewise promotes organic backyard gardening as an alternative source of food and income during the lockdown. It also conducts regular information and education campaigns on COVID-19 to keep the communities abreast of health protocols. Driven by its philosophy of “Starting it right, keeping the end in mind,” Agata continues to operate responsibly throughout the pandemic while ensuring the integrity of both the community and its natural environment. It also continues to create new innovations that conserve natural resources as well as pave the way for the people’s progress – all for a sustainable future.
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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 email@example.com 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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