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.” [1]

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. [2]

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. [1]

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. [4]

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. [5]

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.” [2]

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. [3]

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. [3]

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. [3]




[1] Cawis, Redjie Melvic (11 Nov. 2022). "Baguio City hosts anew annual mine safety conference on Nov. 15-18". Philippine Information Agency.

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[2] See, Dexter A. (28 Nov. 2022). "4,000 join PMSEA events in Baguio". Herald Express.

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[3] See, Dexter A. (19 Nov. 2022). "PMSEA recognizes role of mining in economic growth". Herald Express.

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[4] MGB Mimamorpa (28 Nov. 2022) "MIMAROPA mines win 2022 PMIEA, Best Mining Forest Contest, Safest Mines Awards".  Philippine Information Agency.

[5] Quodala, Jeffrey (14 Dec. 2022). "NAMRIA dominates 2022 PMSEA Bowling Tournament". DENR News website.



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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