PMSEA Returns: 68 Years of Responsible Mining Resilience, Reset, Recovery
by Marcelle P. Villegas - March 17, 2023
[Baguio City] After two years of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) finally returned last year to launch once again the Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference in Baguio City (ANMSEC) on its 68th year. It has been a tradition for decades that stakeholders and other participants from the mining industry gather yearly in the City of Pines for this event. ANMSEC remains one of the major events in the industry. This year’s conference was held last November 15 to 18, 2022. This year’s theme is “68 Years of Responsible Mining Resilience. Reset. Recovery.” 
The ANMSEC began in the 1950s. Back then, the organising group was called Baguio City Mine Safety Operators Association, and was later called PMSEA. The objective was to promote the advocacy on the practice of occupational health and safety, sound environmental management, and social development among mining companies operating in the country. PMSEA is a volunteer organization that promotes responsible mining in order to counter the misinformation like anti-mining and anti-science beliefs that hinders progress of the industry. 
An early morning holy mass was held on the first day of the conference to open the 4-day exploration and mining exhibit and mining workshop at the CAP John Hay Convention Center.
Later in the afternoon, PMSEA officials, headed by President Louie Sarmiento and other stakeholders in the mining industry had a press conference at the Baguio Country Club. Welcome cocktails were sponsored by the Civic Merchandising.
Photos: [Baguio City] [Left photo] Mr Louie Sarmiento, PMSEA president (Right) visits the booth of Philippine Resources Journal during PMSEA’s Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference exhibit and mining workshop at the CAP John Hay Convention Center. (Left to right) Ma. Cecilia Pamular, Matthew Brimble, and Greg Brimble of Philippine Resources Journal. -- [Right photo] Ms Fritzie Anne Orfano and Ms Felisandelle de Vera of MGB Region 1 during the opening day of the 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference in Baguio City (ANMSEC)
On the second day of the conference, PMSEA hosted the 7th YAMAN PH or the Philippine Youth Association for Responsible Mining and Natural Resources Students Congress. The Community Relations Conference (COMREL) at the CAP John Hay Convention Center also took place that day.
There was also a sportsfest featuring tournaments in badminton, bowling, golf, and lawn tennis. The winners were awarded during the Mining Night.
On the third day of the conference, the Mineral Industry Symposium was held at the CAP John Hay Convention Center in coordination with the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers. This symposium is a platform for discussion and sharing of ideas and studies that promote responsible mining, prospects of mining, technical studies, and geological discoveries.
Later in the event, Nickel Asia Corporation sponsored the Fellowship Night at the BCC Convention Center.
[Baguio City] 21 Nov. 2023, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga
(Photo by Ms Felisandelle de Vera of MGB Region 1)
Finally, on the last day of the conference, the PMSEA with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau led the Mineral Industry Parade from Session Road to the Melvin Jones grounds. Later in the day, they had the Mine Safety Field Demonstration and Field Competition.
To conclude this major event, they had a Testimonial and Awards Night and the recognition of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for the best mining practices in the Philippines. 
One of the winners for the 2022 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA) include Coral Bay Nickel Corporation who won the PMIEA for Mineral Processing Category, the Best Mining Forest Contest (Mineral Processing Plant Category), and the Safest Mines Awards (Mineral Processing – Extraction Category). The PMIEA Selection Committee (SC) Platinum Achievement Award (Surface Mining Operation Category) was awarded to Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) – Nickel Project, while the PMIEA SC Titanium Achievement Award (Quarry Operation Category) was given to RTNMC – Gotok Limestone Project.
Graymont (Philippines), Inc. was awarded the PMIEA SC Titanium Achievement Award (Mineral Processing Plant Category), and the Safest Mines Awards (Mineral Processing – Calcining Plant).
For the awarding, the PMIEA SC and its Technical Working Group conducted a strict assessment and validation of 29 qualified mining contractors, permittees, and permit holders involved in active exploration, surface or underground mining operation, quarry operation, and/or mineral processing. The assessment covers the topic on safety and health, environmental management, social/community development and management, and reforestation performance and accomplishments for the period of July 2021 to June 2022. 
The PMIEA is pursuant to Executive Order 399, series of 1997, with the objective to recognizes outstanding display of dedication, initiative and innovation in various aspects of operations in the country’s minerals sector.
DENR's National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) won the 2022 Bowling Tournament that was held at the Puyat Sports Baguio, at Baguio Center Mall last 16 November 2022. In the past, NAMIRIA’s bowling team won the championship in the bowling tournaments in 2016, 2018, and 2019. They also won in the 2019 and 2022 DENR Inter-Agency Sportsfest. 
Mr Louie Sarmiento, PMSEA president, said that the mining industry stakeholders and partners really looked forward to resume to the traditional face-to-face gatherings and activities for this event that was able to contribute around P75 million to the local economy.
According to the report by Mr Dexter See of Herald Express in Baguio, “The PMSEA official disclosed that even the number of companies that participated in the annual Minerals Industry Parade and the skills competition reached record-breaking levels which is an indication of the desire of the mining sector to adhere to the practice of responsible mining leading towards proper occupational health and safety in the work place, sound environmental management and social progress.” 
Mr Sarmiento stated that aside from the 1,000+ attendees to the Mineral Industry Symposium and other conferences during the 4 days, there were also 600+ individuals who virtually attended the activities.
Mr Sarmiento also emphasised that the PMSEA will continue to work together to bring innovations and new ideas that will encourage more participants to take part in this annual event in Baguio City.
One of the topics mentioned by Mr Sarmiento during the conference was the significant contribution of both large-scale and small-scale mining in the Philippines’ economic progress. He also mentioned the importance of supporting the small-scale miners in order to revive their industry after it was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, he stressed that mining is not only about earning revenues and profits. It is also about social, political, and environmental concerns that must be addressed by the Government and the private sector. 
In relation to this, Mr Sarmiento pointed out the case of Apex Mining Company, Inc. (AMCI) in Maco, Davao de Oro and in its subsidiary Itogon Suyoc Resources, Inc. (ISRI) in Itogon, Benguet where he serves as the president. He mentioned a partnership between the large-scale miner and some small-scale mining groups had been established through the big brother-small brother project where the company serves as the big brother mentoring and assisting their small brother small-scale mining associations. 
He called the large-scale mining companies as the big brother that will give their small brother the necessary trainings on safety and provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE) so they may achieve their mining goals without putting their lives at risk.
Additionally, Mr Sarmiento said that the big brother will be regularly buying the ore that the small brother mined at the prevailing metal prices. Generally, the operational and business set up between the big brother and small brother should be a win-win situation, because he said, both large-scale and small-scale mining can co-exist. With that said, efforts are being initiated by the concerned government agencies, LGU, and the private sectors to make this possible. 
 Cawis, Redjie Melvic (11 Nov. 2022). "Baguio City hosts anew annual mine safety conference on Nov. 15-18". Philippine Information Agency.
Retrieved from -
 See, Dexter A. (28 Nov. 2022). "4,000 join PMSEA events in Baguio". Herald Express.
Retrieved from - https://baguioheraldexpressonline.com/4000-join-pmsea-events-in-baguio/
 See, Dexter A. (19 Nov. 2022). "PMSEA recognizes role of mining in economic growth". Herald Express.
Retrieved from - https://baguioheraldexpressonline.com/pmsea-recognizes-role-of-mining-in-economic-growth/
 MGB Mimamorpa (28 Nov. 2022) "MIMAROPA mines win 2022 PMIEA, Best Mining Forest Contest, Safest Mines Awards". Philippine Information Agency.
 Quodala, Jeffrey (14 Dec. 2022). "NAMRIA dominates 2022 PMSEA Bowling Tournament". DENR News website. https://www.namria.gov.ph/
Thank you to Ms Felisandelle de Vera of MGB Region 1, and Ms Joan Falcutela and Mr Job Paul Bulos of Philippine Mining Club for the photos.
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Philippine Resources - March 13, 2023
MGB: Metallic mineral output valued at P238B in 2022
Photo credit: Masbate Gold Project The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reported Wednesday metallic mineral production value surged by 31.73 percent to PHP238.05 billion in 2022 from PHP180.71 billion the previous year. The growth was achieved despite the twin impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. “We saw the pandemic slow down global economic activities and the Russia-Ukraine war affecting key markets, particularly energy markets such as oil and gas,” the MGB said in a statement. “These unprecedented events have disrupted the supply and demand chain of major commodities. In terms of prices of metals copper and silver went down by 5.03% and 14.52%, respectively,” it added. The recorded price of copper declined to USD4.00 per pound in 2022 from USD4.21 per pound the previous year, while that of silver also dropped to USD21.76 per troy ounce from USD25.45 per troy ounce. Nickel price was still high in 2022 from USD8.35 per pound to USD11.86 per pound, an increase of USD3.51 per pound, year-on-year. Gold price was up by USD1.90 from USD1,800.39 per troy ounce to USD1,802.28 per troy ounce year-on-year. (with reports from Perfecto Raymundo Jr., PNA) Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - December 02, 2022
RECENT DRILLING AT MANILA MINING NTINA DEEPS INTERSECTS HIGHGRADE GOLD-COPPER PORPHYRY TYPE MINERALIZATION
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Mr. Felipe U. Yap, Chairman and CEO of Manila Mining Corporation (“MMC”), is pleased to announce the exciting and economically significant gold and copper exploration drilling results from four well-controlled, deep diamond core holes completed below MMC’s historical Ntina open pit gold mine. The drilling programme has been designed to (i) refine the shape and dimensions of the previously intercepted copper-gold mineralized zones; (ii improve the understanding of mineralization controls, and (iii) allow the formulation of an efficiently targeted, definitive resource definition drilling programme. The completed four drill holes have an aggregate depth of 6,061.7 meters and identified a large, highly gold-copper mineralized porphyry system that has been named Ntina Deeps. Drilling of the fifth and sixth holes is ongoing. As the inevitable global copper demand-supply gap widens exponentially in the coming decades, the Philippines is perfectly positioned to become a major world copper producer. The Philippines has several large deposits that can be brought online within five years and a very long pipeline for new mines within the next 20 years. Deposits such as the Ntina Deeps have high gold credits and there exists the potential for low capex and selective underground mining methods. The timing for MMC to explore and develop gold-copper porphyries within its Placer tenements could not be better. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - July 18, 2022
“A step closer towards a mineral industry that is not only prosperous but also socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.”
That is how, Dr. Rogel A. Santos, the OIC-Chief of the Marine Geological Survey Division (MGSD) of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recounted the seminar-workshop that was held on June 6-8, 2022 at Subic Bay Travelers Hotel in Subic Bay, Zambales. The seminar-workshop: “Application of Marine Geophysics and Ecosystem Studies on the Development of Guidelines for Offshore Mining Monitoring” is spearheaded by the Marine Mineral Exploration Section (MMES) of MGSD which is also headed by Dr. Santos, as the section chief. The event brought together the different offshore mining companies and several experts from various government agencies and the academe including the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), MGB, Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI), and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) to achieve one goalꟷ to kickstart the formulation of guidelines for monitoring and regulating of the offshore mineral extraction activities in the country. On December 2020, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) permitted the first large scale offshore mining activity in the Philippines. And since then, the number of mining permits and applications submitted to MGB have been growing, showing that there is a dramatic increase in interest on the mining of mineral resources offshore, whether due to accelerating demand for raw materials or decline of terrestrial mineral resources. However, as the offshore mining and exploration of marine resources is relatively new in the country, there is a growing public concern on its possible impact to the environment and the coasts that could put the livelihood of the coastal populace at stake. According to Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, the MGB Director, on his welcome remarks, the seminar-workshop is timely as it aims to establish a common ground on which offshore mineral extraction operations are monitored and regulated by developing a comprehensive set of guidelines on marine mineral exploration, extraction, and reporting. He also added that, “These guidelines will ensure that the conduct of offshore mining and exploration activities is acceptable and beneficial to all its stakeholders, the government, and the environment.” Likewise, the first two days of the seminar-workshop was particularly allotted for the presentations and discussion of the possible impacts of offshore mining to the environment and the coastal zones and how to monitor and manage these impacts. For the first day of the seminar, seafloor mapping and marine exploration as well as the introduction of seismic methods and its offshore marine exploration applications was featured in the presentation of Dr. Leo T. Armada of UP-NIGS. A comprehensive science-based guidelines and monitoring program in order to effectively manage the environmental impacts of offshore mining was elaborated by the UP-MSI as represented by Dr. Charina Amedo-Repollo, Dr. Michael Atrigenio, & Dr. Michael Roleda. The BMB-Coastal and Marine Division, on the other hand, discussed the potential impacts of offshore mining in marine ecosystem including their suggested monitoring system of the offshore activity. While the MGB- Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Division tackled the adaptation of the suggested Monitoring Checklist and Multipartite Monitoring Team on mining areas in the Philippines. A major concern throughout the session is the potential effect of the turbidity brought by the offshore mining or dredging operations that could spread and harm the marine flora and fauna. On the second day, the different participating companies and government agencies such as the VIL Mines-Boskalis (San Nicholas Shoal Project), PRA-Boskalis (Manila Bay Reclamation Project), Peniel Resources, and JDVC shared their offshore mining or exploration practices and activities. Relevant technologies for offshore activities were also featured during this session by the Scan Marine Inc., and the Sea and Land Technologies (SALT). A highlight of this session is the “Green Valve Technology”introduced by Boskalis which according to them could reduce the turbidity caused by the dredging operations. The Coastal and Offshore Geological Section (COGGS) of MGSD stressed the importance of the establishment of baseline data through physical coastal vulnerability assessment and determination of closure depth, the depth where sediment transport and morphodynamic process is very limited or inactive. They also emphasized that offshore dredging /mining activities can impact the coast, hence, effective strategies to reduce these impacts should be considered. Moreover, brief discussions on the offshore mining tenements and the offshore mining Guidelines in the Philippines were also highlighted during this session as presented by the Mining Tenements Management Division and the Mining Technology Division of the MGB respectively. Summing up the seminar, an overview of the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC) 2020 and the reporting standard for marine mineral exploration with reference to the PMRC 2020 was presented by the PMRC Committee represented by Mr. George Baquiran and Dr. Rogel A. Santos, on the third day. The workshop plenary ended with the finalization of the draft of the checklist and guidelines for Marine Mineral exploration and Mining and reporting Standard for offshore Exploration that was led by the MGSD-MMES. To cap the three-day activity, the RPS Explorer was opened to participants for an observation tour. Participants were shown of the basic function of the vessel with the sampling and data gathering procedures briefly discussed by the technical staff of the MGSD. With the recently conducted seminar regarding the Development of Guidelines for Offshore Mining Monitoring, the MGSD team is looking forward to the final development of these guidelines as these would serve as commutuality among others on the responsible monitoring and regulation of offshore mineral exploration and mining.
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Philippine Resources - March 23, 2023
20 Years of Integral: Celebrating Growth and Transformation
Integral, a purveyor of market-leading process control solutions in the Philippines, celebrates its 20th anniversary this 2023. The event, held in EDSA Shangri-La, was attended by the company’s employees, clients, and supply chain partners. The celebration was a showcase of Integral’s history. But more importantly, it highlighted lessons the company learned as keys to success over the past two decades. As told from the perspective of the founders and employees, the event delivered a playful yet heart-warming glimpse into Integral's journey.
Philippine Resources - March 23, 2023
PH, Australia partner for technical cooperation for PPP
Photo: Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu PSM. Credit: AusAmbPH Twitter Page As the Marcos administration becomes bullish in utilizing a public-private partnership (PPP) model in infrastructure projects, the Australian government will be providing its technical expertise in rolling out infrastructure projects under the PPP. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu PSM told the Philippine News Agency in an interview at her residence Wednesday that the embassy will be launching the Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) on March 24. “Infrastructure is a big area that the Philippines is focusing on, and I know President (Ferdinand R.) Marcos (Jr.) has announced that he wants to utilize PPP more where it’s possible. So we are working closely with the Philippine government to share with them how Australia has done it,” Yu said. P4I is an Australian government initiative that brings together experts from the public and private sectors as well as the academe to help Philippine government agencies involved in infrastructure development in the preparation stage of projects that would be under a PPP model. “We can help them with all the project preparation stage. How you do actual cost-benefit analysis of potential projects, and then how you prepare documents for possible procurement, tender processes, and things like that,” the envoy cited. She said that aside from the PPP Center, the P4I also aims to closely work with other agencies including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), among others. Yu added that the Australian government will be closely working with the administration through the P4I in meeting its diverse infrastructure requirements, including roads, transport, energy, and public investment management. The Australian envoy said a number of Australian companies have been involved in infrastructure projects in the country. Early this month, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan announced that the NEDA Board approved PHP9 trillion worth of flagship infrastructure projects, with 45 of these projects possibly being funded through PPPs. “The government shall harness the financial and technical resources of the private sector, which allows the public sector to allocate its funds for greater investment in human capital development, especially to address the scarring in health and education due to the pandemic, and provided targeted assistance that protects vulnerable sectors from economic shocks,” Balisacan had said. By Kris Crismundo Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - March 21, 2023
PBBM boosts transport sector thru big-ticket projects
Photo credit: Department of Transportation Several big-ticket infrastructure projects in the transportation sector have been approved or are already being implemented by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reported Monday. In a statement, the DOTr said the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project, Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, EDSA Greenways, the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) West Extension, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension are all ongoing as of March 9 according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). These projects are among the 67 infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) that have been greenlit or are already underway out of the 194 high-impact projects under Marcos’ "Build Better More" program. In the rail sector, these approved and ongoing projects include the Metro Manila Subway Phase 1, Mindanao Rail Phase 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) rehabilitation, Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT-4), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), New Cebu International Container Port, New Manila International Airport (Bulacan International Airport), North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul, and the Subic Clark Railway. The New Dumaguete Airport Development Project (Bacong International Airport) and the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Phase 1 have also both been approved by NEDA, with six projects awaiting approval. Last week, the NEDA Board, led by Marcos, approved 194 high-impact priority projects with a total cost of around PHP9 trillion. The board also approved amendments to the 2013 Joint Venture guidelines to support the government’s push for more investments in the country’s infrastructure. PNR suspension Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda has expressed alarm over an impending suspension of select PNR routes due to the NSCR, saying it will affect thousands of commuters, mostly students and workers. “The welfare of the riding public should always be prioritized yet it remains to be seen whether such proposed solutions would effectively and sufficiently address the riding public's urgent demands in time for the imminent suspension of the operations of the PNR,“ Legarda said in her explanatory note on Senate Resolution No. 546. The PNR plans to suspend operations of certain routes for up to five years to facilitate the faster construction of the 55-kilometer NSCR. The construction will start in May and PNR may suspend the routes between Governor Pascual in Malabon City and Calamba City in Laguna, and well as Alabang, Muntinlupa City to Calamba. The Tutuban, Manila-Alabang route will be suspended in October and will affect between 20,000 and 25-000 passengers daily. Legarda urged the Committee on Public Order, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, to look into the impending suspension and come up with alternative solutions. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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