Place your Ad Here!
Philippine Resources - December 24, 2020
Carmen Copper Corp. suspends all mining operations due to recent landslide
21 Dec. 2020 – Landslide at Carmen pit -- A screenshot from the video sent to SunStar CebuAmid the holiday festivities in Toledo City in Cebu, a sudden tragedy happened last Monday afternoon in a mining pit in Barangay Biga. 21 Dec. 2020, Monday -- Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) said that the landslide happened at around 4:15 pm at the Carmen Pit. The day after, it was reported that 4 employees died while 6 are still missing. Several miners were also rushed to the Carmen Copper Hospital following the landslide. From a public statement released by CCC, they said: “The incident was traceable to the incessant rains for the past several months and aggravated by Typhoon Vicky which hit parts of the Visayas, including Toledo City last Friday, December 18, 2020.”“The Management of CCC is doing all the necessary action to assess and address the overall situation. We will continue to inform the concerned agencies as well the general public of further developments.”CCC suspended all mining operations in the area to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors.  “We humbly ask the general public to exercise caution and responsibility in distributing information out of respect to the affected families. We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to private groups and the Toledo City Government Emergency Response team for extending valuable assistance in our search and rescue operations.”“We are also in close coordination and communication with concerned government agencies as we continue to conduct all necessary actions to assess and address the situation.” 22 Dec. 2020, Toledo City, Cebu – Search and Rescue Operation at Carmen Copper Corp. -- Establishment of Incident Command Post with Carmen Copper Corporation and Mayor Marjorie “Joie” Piczon-Perales (Photo credit: Chile Perolino, Toledo City Public Information Office FB page)The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said last Tuesday that they will do an investigation on the landslide incident. The mining operation is temporarily suspended pending the result of the investigation, according to MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano. He emphasised that the Toledo copper mine passed the Mining Industry Coordinating Council’s independent audit for 2020. CCC is a subsidiary of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (or “Atlas Mining”). They have an operating agreement with Atlas Mining and has exclusive operating rights over the in situ mineral resources and ore reserves of Carmen, Lutopan and Biga mineral deposits. These are collectively known as Toledo copper mine which covers 1,674 hectares. Currently, 276 hectares out of the total operating area is an active mining site. The Atlas Copper Complex is located in Don Andres Soriano (Lutopan), Toledo City, in the province of Cebu which is 365 miles or 570 km south of Metro Manila. Moncano said via a text message to reporters, “Initial findings indicate that Typhoon Vicky exacerbated the already waterlogged limestone and mudstone layer from the prior typhoon that weakens its contact with the intrusive rock base. This is the material that went down to the pit bottom. A fault line called the Barot fault was also observed in the slide area and may have contributed to the landslide.” Rocky Dimaculangan, Vice President for Communications and National Coordinator for Towards Sustainable Mining sent this message to the media, “The important thing is for the industry to learn lessons from incidents such as this to continue to improve on its protocols and practices. Undoubtedly the industry as a whole will absorb the lessons from this incident.” Last 4th of Dec. 2020, Dimaculangan was a speaker at the Philippine Mining Club Webinar on “Towards Sustainable Mining: Beyond Compliance”.As for the host communities where the mine site is located, they have their own issues against the mining operations of CCC. According to Biga Barangay Captain Pedro Sepada, CCC’s mining activities were the subject of complaints filed by its host barangay since 2019. Their complaints were forwarded to MGB Central Visayas (MGB-7). Sepada stated in a phone interview by Rappler, “During our consultative meetings, we really asked what exactly was the standard distance between the mining operations area and the residential area. MGB said there is no standard distance.” Sepada also said that this was not the first time an incident had occurred. He said that the mining pit had collapsed in 2013, which claimed the life of his relative. In response to the recent tragedy, Toledo City government’s emergency response team extended their assistance in the ongoing search and rescue operation. Toledo City Mayor Marjorie “Joie” Piczon-Perales is also coordinating with CCC. According to Toledo City Information Officer, John Layan, Toledo City will be providing financial assistance to the families of the victims. “As per information from our mayor, our assistance is now in place. We are just finalizing some documentary requirements.” Layan also stated that the other than the City Government’s logistical support to CCC for the search and rescue operation, Mayor Perales requested the help of Philippine Coast Guard for divers and boats for the search and rescue operation.  – (Marcelle P. Villegas, PRJ)Reference: Mayuga, Jonathan L. (23 Dec. 2020). Business Mirror. "Carmen Coper halts mine operations". Retrieved from - https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/12/23/carmen-copper-halts-mine-operations/ Press release from Carmen Copper Corp. (22 Dec. 2020)  Carmen Copper Corp. company website - https://www.atlasmining.com.ph/about-us/carmen-copper-corporation Sitchon, John (22 Dec. 2020). Rappler. "At least 4 dead, 6 missing after collapse of Cebu mine". Retrieved from - https://www.rappler.com/nation/death-toll-collapse-toledo-cebu-mining-pit-december-22-2020 MVG, WBS, JOB (22 Dec. 2020). SunStar Cebu. "Carmen Copper mine landslide death toll now at 4". Retrieved from - https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1880861/Cebu/Local-News/Carmen-Copper-mine-landslide-death-toll-now-at-4
Philippine Resources - December 16, 2020
Government Greenlights Offshore Mining in Cagayan
The government has given the go-signal for the first large-scale offshore mining to operate in Cagayan in January next year. According to a statement, JDVC Resources Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of Apollo Global Capital, is now ready for operations, having secured permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.It's Mineral Production Sharing Agreement said that the mine is allowed within an area of 1,903 hectares in the seabed off Cagayan. The firm also had an agreement with billionaire Frank Lao of the Choi Garden restaurant group, who will provide two deep-sea mining vessels for the operation. When these vessels arrive in January, the operations will start. Ore reserves are expected to reach around 632 million tons of magnetite – a kind of iron-oxide mineral used to make steel.According to the website of JDVC, the extraction process would come as a “no hazard at all and no social complication,” emphasizing that no explosives are going to be used. The community in the area, however, doesn’t sit well with the operations. In a previous report, they questioned how the government allowed the firm without public consultation. Environmental groups even said that offshore mining may damage the ecosystem. University of Hawaii oceanographer Craig Smith said in a recent study, “Many deep-sea ecosystems will be very sensitive to seafloor mining, are likely to be impacted over much larger scales than predicted by mining interests, and local and regional biodiversity losses are likely with the potential for species extinction.”
Philippine Resources - December 16, 2020
Philippine Mining Awarding Ceremony to Push Through
Baguio City -- During the 2019 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award Night and Testimonial Dinner, CTPCMC received two Platinum Achievement Award for their surface mining operations in the Barangays of Dahican and Adlay, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. In spite of the pandemic, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is set to award the country’s best mining company.Known as the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA), the awarding ceremony recognizes the best practices in the mining industry, as well as the commitments of factors involved in underground and surface mining operation, mineral exploration, mineral processing, among others. Among the awards to be handed out include the Best Mining Forest Contest and Safety Mines Awards.The Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the President of Chamber of Mines of the Philippines chair the PMIEA Selection Committee (PMIEASC). Its members include the respective secretaries of the following agencies: Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Department of Science and Technology. Other members include the Presidents of the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association and the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association.“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the various Selection Committees and MGB opted to continue to give recognition to the private sector’s initiatives and exemplary achievements in the protection of the environment and ecology to further promote private sector participation, enhance public awareness on the protection of the environment and ecology, and contribute to the growth of the economy and improvement in the quality of life of Filipinos,” MGB said.With the pandemic, the awarding ceremony will be held virtually and is tentatively scheduled for March 2021.Last year six companies were honoured for their best practice services. These included the Agata Mining Ventures, Inc., Cagdianao Mining Corporation, Holcim Mining and Development Corp., Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc, Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corp., and Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corp. for Mineral Exploration Category.MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano said these firms served as “good examples” and also challenged others to meet the higher standards in government. “You either mine responsibly or you don’t mine; there is no middle ground,” Moncano said.
Philippine Resources - December 07, 2020
Duterte Orders OceanaGold Contract Renegotiation
The President has ordered the renegotiation of the contract of Australian-Canadian mining company OceanaGold.According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the Office of the President (OP) issued an order to the Philippine panel to begin negotiating with the mining firm on the conditions of its financial and technical assistance agreement (FTAA). “We wanted to finish the negotiation fast without sacrificing government interests so that the project can begin to contribute to the economic recovery of the country and most of all the stakeholders of the project,” MGB director Wilfredo Moncano said.The FTAA for OceanGold for its Didipio mine in Nueva Vizcaya expired in June 2019 and has failed to get a renewal and therefore, local authorities implemented mine closure. Presently, 76 per cent of its 1,500 workforce - which come from local communities in Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya - have been laid off. OceanaGold said that it has received notifications by the OP about the renegotiation.“The OP gave instructions to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Finance to engage with us and renegotiate,” OceanaGold Philippines communications manager Marjorie Idio said. “But as to the details, we really haven’t commenced discussions. We were just informed very recently. We are still waiting for further instructions, but we are looking at this in a very positive light.”Earlier, the OP found some defaults - such that the deficiency based on the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act, the first 25 years of the mining firm was not covered by the IPRA law, the area of the mine was outside the ancestral realm of the Bugkalot tribe, and that during the renewal, the tribe also filed for an application of expansion - which covered the area of OceanGold.Even if it has received the endorsement from the MGB and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources since last year, the FTAA final renewal of OceanGold dragged on. The President has the final decision on the renewal of an FTAA.Meanwhile, the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association (PMEA) highlighted that the renegotiation of OceanaGold is a positive development for the industry. “This is much better rather than we are in limbo and doing nothing. We are moving forward and we might see Didipio mine contributing substantially next year,” PMEA president Joey Ayson said.Once renewed, OceanaGold said it would work to re-hire some of the people that the mining firm has laid off.
Philippine Resources - December 07, 2020
COVID Has Unaffected the Mining Sector
The mining sector remains unaffected by the current health crisis.Thus, said Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Chairman Gerard Brimo, also the President of Nickel Asia Corp., who added that there have been higher exports and few layoffs in this industry. He added that the mining sector is very much capable of helping the economy of the Philippines, which dropped by 11.5 per cent from July to September. “I think there is a growing realization in the government [about that] and that we need to do something to keep the economy moving again. The way to do that is to fix the policies to grow the industry,” said Brimo.In the first half of the year, mineral exports only decreased by 2 per cent - from US$2.465 billion in the first half of 2019 to US$2.416 billion in the first half of this year.Also unaffected were employment in mining - with some mines experiencing temporary closure during the lockdown restrictions. Brimo added that miners were able to realign some of their social development funds to help communities in its fight against the pandemic. Brimo said that there are “three problematic policies that have stifled the growth of the industry”, which includes the moratorium on new mineral agreements imposed under Presidential Executive Order No. 79 (2012) and the ban on the open-pit mining method issued by former and late Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez.Brimo added that there is still to work on the suspension orders issued by Lopez to a couple of mining firms. In September this year, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Wilfredo Moncano said that in the mining sector, there were 138,000 jobs lost. MGB then asked the approval from President Rodrigo Duterte for a mining sector program that details some recommendations on how these extractive industries can aid the economy of the Philippines against recession. “Similar to other industries, the mining sector lost export production values, taxes not raised, employment losses, undelivered supplies, among others, for the three months that the mining companies were prevented from operating,” Moncano said. “While it has been allowed to resume work now, the mining companies have to bear the strict health protocols issued by the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases].”
Philippine Resources - December 03, 2020
Semirara Lags Behind In Coal Production
Because of its decision to voluntarily defer operation in a block within its Molave mine area due to water build-up, Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) has announced that it may lag behind in its coal production this year.SMPC said that this is “due to water build-up in the sump of NB7, which was caused by water seepages and aggravated by heavy rainfall from the recent typhoon. With the lower production, estimated financial impact is an increase of around P900 million in cost of coal sold owing to a higher weighted average cost, which will impact 2020 profitability.”Presently, the firm said that it is still behind by 1.7 million on the output goal for this year, and “ramping up production to meet the full-year target is unlikely at this point given the water seepages at NB7 (North Block 7).”With this decision, SMPC said that this time can allow the firm’s mining personnel and consultants “to implement remedial measures to manage the water build-up.” It has, however, said that there is no definite date to when operations will continue. According to the firm, “coal shipments for this year will not be affected by the deferral of the mining operations,” as the company still has 3.4 million metric tons of coal inventory as of December 1 this year.” It added that it, “may not be able to meet the coal quality specifications of a few customers due to the expected delay in the production of high CV (calorific value) coal.”To address this delay, SMPC is now holding a dialogue with affected customers.
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2020
Nickel in Plants and the Potential of Phytomining – Part Two
By Marcelle P. VillegasRare plants that naturally accumulate large quantities of nickel are believed to be hiding in Indonesia’s forests. (Photo credit: Dr. Antony van der Ent, University of Queensland)Previously, on Part One of our featured story, we shared the findings of a group in Indonesia that studied rare plants that absorb high concentration of nickel. The group published their study in May 2020 where they identified the species of rare, nickel-loving “super plants” in Sulawesi. What is the significance of their study in nickel mining? Is phytomining a viable method of nickel mining? For the past years, Dr Antony van der Ent and his colleagues researched about phytomining of nickel hyper-accumulator plants. These are “super plants” that can accumulate at least 1000 micrograms of nickel per 1g of dried leaf. In nature, most plants need a little bit of heavy metals to activate some essential enzymes in their flower process. However, too much of these metals can kill most plants. Therefore, most hyper-accumulator plants are rare due to their ability to survive despite absorbing high amounts of metals. Nickel is stored in their shoots, leaves, roots and sap. “If the nickel within these rare plants could be tapped, it would provide a sustainable source of nickel for use in electric vehicle batteries,” said, Dr van der Ent. Dr van der Ent is a plant ecophysiologist and biogeochemist from University of Queensland who does research on biopathyways of trace elements in soil and plant systems. “I have a specific interest in the application of phytotechnologies that utilize hyperaccumulator plants. My research bridges systematics, ecology and physiology of plants and is highly collaborative in nature.” Indonesia is a good place to look for plants that are nickel hyper-accumulators. Their forests are rich in biodiversity and the soil is rich in nickel. (Photo credit: Dr. Antony van der Ent)In 2004, Aiyen Tjoa from Tadulako University in Central Sulawesi searched for these plants in Sorowako. Sorowako is known for its rich biodiversity of rare plants but the area was cleared of its green landscape to make way for one of the largest nickel mining sites in the world. There were, however, some bushes and trees that survived the clearing of the forest. She studied these plants to understand how “super plants” are able to withstand such harsh nickel-rich soil, while it is toxic for other organisms. She notes that if these plants can be “mined” as well, then this could be a new method of gathering nickel without destroying the ecosystem.Tjoa found two species of nickel hyper-accumulators in 2008. These are Sarcotheca celebica and Knema matanensis which could store between 1,000 and 5,000 micrograms of nickel per 1g of dried leaf.“We’re looking for plants that could accumulate at least 10,000 micrograms [per gram]. At that threshold, it becomes economically viable to cultivate the plant for mineral extraction – or ‘phytomining’”.Dr. van der Ent established two methods in detecting hyper-accumulator plants. First is through the use of detection paper. He reported that if a plant has nickel content, the white detection paper turns pink when leaves are pressed against it.  Another detection method he uses is via a hand-held device that emits x-ray beams at the plant sample. Plants that are positive for nickel content reacts by emitting a specific amount of energy that is characteristic of nickel atoms.  A third technique is by using magnetism, as developed by researcher Professor Satria Bijaksana from Bandung Institute of Technology. This technique is faster and saved time because it only detects high concentrations of nickel. Using this method, Tjoa and Dr. van der Ent were able to conduct a successful experiment on 10 indigenous plants in Sulawesi and Halmahera in comparison with two hyper-accumulators (Alyssum murale and Alyssum corsicum). Findings show one of the native plants was high in both iron and nickel. The group published their study in May 2020 where they identified two further species of nickel-loving plants in Sulawesi. Of note, they discovered that the plant species Casearia halmaherensis and another that was a type of pepper, have the ability to accumulate 2,600-2,900 micrograms in 1g of dried leaf. Is phytomining a new way to mine? “The beauty of nickel hyper-accumulators is that they collect something that is both a toxic pollutant if left in the soil, and a valuable material – nickel is used in making products from kitchen taps to electric car batteries. Collecting the nickel from plants is a relatively easy process,” writes science journalist, Dyna Rochmyaningsih, who published the article “The rare plants that ‘bleed’ nickel”, for “Future Planet” of the BBC website. Among the various “super plants” that the three researchers found, Dr van der Ent has calculated that the plant species Phyllantus balgoyii can produce an estimate of 120kg of nickel per hectare every year. That is equivalent to a market value of around $1,754 per hectare.  How is nickel extracted from the plant? The shoots will be pruned, and then burned. Nickel can be separated from the ash. The shoots of a plant have the highest concentrations of nickel. Burning is necessary to release carbon dioxide.According to Rochmyaningsih’s report, phytomining has considerable environmental advantages compared with traditional forms of mining. “In Sorowako, nickel is extracted through open-pit mining, to access nickel embedded inside laterite rocks. To get the nickel, the rocks need to be crushed, which can release radioactive elements, naturally occurring asbestos-like substances, and metallic dust. Open-pit mining also produces waste materials in the form of a toxic semi-liquid waste known as tailings. If not properly managed, arsenic and mercury-laden tailings can leak in the surrounding environment. More broadly, traditional mining as a whole is a considerable carbon emitter, releasing at least 10% of greenhouse emissions in 2017.” Nickel hyper-accumulators are also a choice of plant type to use for revegetation of mined out land areas. Tjoa says that in most mining companies in Indonesia, they often use ordinary plants rather than nickel-loving species. Dr van der Ent said that nickel hyper-accumulators could do a better job in revegetation because they improve soil health by removing nickel and brining back the major nutrients needed by normal plants. It could also give an economic benefit for the mining company because the nickel residue that has been accumulated in the plant’s shoots could be harvested.Dr van der Ent has been conducting phytomining field trials in Sabah, Malaysia since 2014. “We found out that phytomining really works.” This can be applied in soils that have not been mined but have naturally have high levels of nickel. However, Dr van der Ent points out that the technology of phytomining is not aimed at replacing open-pit mining. Instead, phytomining could be done in parallel. He said that it can be an alternative form of agriculture in rural communities living on nickel-rich areas. Although phytomining has a good potential and viability, Tjoa said that there is a slow pace of development of phytomining in Indonesia as no one seems to pay attention to this potential. “The firm PT Inco once supported her research on phytomining when she did a field trial on the adaptation of Alyssum murale in Sorowako. But the collaboration was terminated partly because the company was restructuring,” according to the BBC article. There was no collaboration since then. The irony is, “No other country has a greater potential for phytomining than Indonesia,” said Dr van der Ent. With the extraordinary plant diversity and geological history, he believes that the Indonesia has a great potential for the discovery of nickel hyper-accumulators. Between 1990 and 2018, Sulawesi lost nearly 19% of its forest cover. Tjoa said, “We have lost such a big chance to find these plants.”On the bright side of the story, in central Sulawesi, “a pristine rainforest sits on nickel-rich soils that make up the mountainous region in Morowali natural reserve.” The soil is greyish and forms above a bedrock called serpentinite. Most likely, it is a perfect place to find nickel-loving plants.Also, a foreign mining company showed their interest in phytomining studies and experiment, according to Tjoa. She was in touch with a US-based investor in 2017 who wanted to fund her 5,000-hectare trial in Sulawesi. She plans to use Alyssum murale for the project. This is a nickel-hyperaccumulator from Italy. She said that maybe if we can prove that phytomining works, then perhaps the Indonesian government will finally be convinced about it. From their study, we find that using plants instead of heavy machinery to mine would create less waste, preserve the ecosystem and produce less toxic waste. References: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Antony_Ent Rochmyaningsih, Dyna (26 August 2020). “The rare plants that ‘bleed’ nickel”. Future Planet, BBC.Retrieved from - https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200825-indonesia-the-plants-that-mine-poisonous-metalsPhoto credit: 1. Antony van der Ent - https://smi.uq.edu.au/profile/1400/antony-van-der-ent2. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200825-indonesia-the-plants-that-mine-poisonous-metals
Philippine Resources - November 30, 2020
British Processing Firm Funds Cebu Facility
British firm CD Processing Ltd has funded P583 million for the ore sortation facility in Cebu, a groundbreaking project which was approved by the Board of Investment (BOI). According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo, the unit of the British firm will be involved in reclaiming precious copper-bearing ore from low-grade ore discarded by copper mines. He said this during DTI’s Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign where copper is identified as one of its priority areas. He also added that this campaign seeks to address the value chain gap of local sectors such as the copper industry. Meanwhile, CD Processing (Philippines) Inc. will be offering ore sortation solutions to Carmen Copper Corp. in Cebu, generating 63 jobs.“This is now in the processing side, not only mining,” Rodolfo said.Aside from copper, other sectors include automotive, aerospace, information technology, electronics, and business process management (ITBPM).“These are the sectors which we believe would be able to bring investments,” Rodolfo said.The Philippines is one of the biggest copper producers in the world with reserves of around 4 billion metric tons. In 2018, it exported copper amounting to USD1.9 billion. The DTI is also looking to attract investments in processing, manufacturing of higher-value copper-based products, and sire rod casting facilities.Next month, DTI is launching the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ) Program, said Rodolfo. This seeks to put up integrated copper processing facilities through industry clustering. This project will also capitalise on existing capabilities and infrastructure in the province of Leyte - which houses the Leyte Industrial Development Estate that has two international ports, which can service up to 60,000 to 70,000 tons.
Philippine Resources - November 25, 2020
MGB Issues Exploration Permit
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has issued an exploration permit to Celsius Resources Ltd for its Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) project in the Philippines, received as part of its acquisition of Anleck Limited, a UK company with a suite of copper and gold projects in the Philippines. In September 2020, Celsius went into a binding share sale agreement to purchase Anleck, subject to several conditionsWith the MGB issuing this exploration permit, Celsius has taken a major step in fulfilling the contractual obligations of the share sale agreement.Anleck chairman and Celsius director designate Martin Buckingham said, “This is an important step in developing the MCB project which is a world-class opportunity with the potential to be a future significant copper and gold producer within the Asia Pacific region, to be implemented under the Philippine-registered company Makilala Mining Co Inc. Our dynamic in-country team is now preparing to deliver additional milestones as part of the mine development initiatives, working closely with local indigenous communities, stakeholders and the National Government under a responsible mining approach.”A flagship project of the Anleck portfolio which also involves the Malangsa project in Southern Leyte and the Sagay project in Negros Occidental, the MCB is located at the Cordillera Administrative Region and hosts a high-grade copper-gold porphyry deposit based on historical exploration.The results of the MCB conducted by Makilala Mining include: 384 metres at 1.25% copper and 0.46 g/t gold, within 767 metres at 0.77% copper & 0.27 g/t gold177 metres at 1.98% copper and 0.95 g/t gold within 630.5 metres at 0.81% copper and 0.32 g/t gold.The renewal of the permit means that MGB gives Celsius the right to conduct mineral exploration, filing of the declaration of mining project feasibility, preparation of completion of studies, and the important Mineral Agreement.The permit lasts for two years with a permit extension if needed. Following the filing of a Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility, Celsius is working on its preparations - with drilling to start early 2021. Meanwhile, the Anleck transaction will be finished after a shareholder meeting to approve the transaction. In the meantime, Celsius awaits for the completion of an independent export report, part of the Notice of Meeting to be sent to shareholders. This meeting is expected to be conducted in January 2021.
Philippine Resources - November 20, 2020
MGB Allowed Re-Alignment of Funds
To bankroll their typhoon release efforts, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has permitted miners to re-align their funds for their respective Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP).This was one week after Typhoon Ulysses ravaged the country.“In the interest of public service and for humanitarian reasons please be informed that all MGB Regional Offices (RO) concerned are hereby authorized to allow mining companies to re-align the unutilized/unspent funds of SDMP to assist typhoon victims within the host and neighbouring communities, as well as the non-impact barangays in their respective localities,” MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano said in a recently issued memorandum order. “Said realignment shall be consulted with and agreed by the host and neighbouring communities.”Mancano added that the recent typhoon didn’t really have an impact on the mining industry. “Initially, they were concerned about lack of electricity or power but these were resolved later,” he said.A five-year plan aimed at developing a responsible resource-based community, the SDMP is supposedly a tool for the implementation and development of community projects and activities for the communities of a mining project. Vice president for corporate communications at Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Rocky Dimaculangan added that the decision of the MGB will improve the capability of the miners to “provide immediate relief and assistance to help their communities after disasters”.“Many of our members donate funds, do relief operations, and, if necessary, undertake the search, rescue, or retrieval operations during disasters even without being asked or ordered,” Dimaculangan said. “The legit large-scale mining industry has in many instances been among the first responders in times of disasters and calamities.”In the early days of COVID, MGB let mining companies re-allocate their SDMP funds for COVID relief efforts. This allowed the miners to provide social amelioration measures for host communities. In addition, miners were also provided with PPEs, relief goods, and food packages.
Philippine Resources - November 20, 2020
DENR: Mining Sector Continues Its Sustainability
Usec Jim O. Sampulna (upper right); Atty. Dante R. Bravo (upper left); Ms. Charmaine Olea-Capili, PNIA Executive Director (lower left); and Engr. Marcial H. Mateo (lower right) during the PNIA webinar via Zoom.In a webinar titled “Progressive Rehabilitation and Environment Programs during the Pandemic,” Undersecretary Jim O. Sampulna (CESO III) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stressed the optimism of the government that the mining sector will continue to be sustainable in the midst of the pandemic.“To the members of the PNIA, and to the rest of other organizations and partners in the mining industry, the government acknowledges that the industry as a whole is facing challenges on how it would sustainably achieve responsible mining in this very unprecedented COVID-19 situation without jeopardizing the highly anticipated benefit from mining and w/o leading into loss of income and job retrenchment,” he said. “However, despite the setbacks and challenges, we believe in your resilience, determination and strength.”He added, “We are hopeful and confident that the implementation of our respective work and programs for safety and health of the workforce, environmental management and social development which are mandated by our government is still in place and is adapting to our current situation.”In addition, Sampulna also presented some achievements - despite the pandemic - by some mining sectors in the country. Among them included the Environmental Protection and Enhance Program by Philex Gold Philippines, Inc located in Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte; Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) in Bataraza, Palawan; Platinum Group Metals Corporation in Claver, Surigao del Norte; and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation in Bataraza, Palawan. Sampulna also highlighted the environmental activities by PNIA members in Palawan, Zamblaes, and Caraga Region. Sampulna also gave updates on the establishment of bamboo plantations in mining areas. According to him, the mining sector committed 14,420 hectares of bamboo plantation across the country. This is in accordance with the programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for post-COVID.Those who attended the webinar included officials from the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA), Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB), and various participants from the academe, private organisations, and other government agencies.
Philippine Resources - November 18, 2020
Record Profit for Apex Mining
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, APEX Mining Co. has reported a consolidated income for the nine-month period amounting to P991 million, 337 per cent higher than in 2019, and the biggest in the history of the firm. The company said that its profit rose from 227 million last year. The same way, parent company net income grew from 253 million to 1.0 billion, a 314 increase, in the same period a year ago. Apex Mining President and Chief Executive Officer Luis Sarmiento said that the increase was due to the resilience of the company teams in terms of its mine sites, in spite of the challenges of the pandemic. To date, there are no reported cases.“Our priority is still the health and safety of our people. After all, a healthy workforce is what drives a mine to operate efficiently and profitably,” he said.For January-September 2020, milling tonnage amounted to 491,269 tonnes or an average of 1,921 tonnes per day. As compared to last year, this is an 8-percent decrease from 536,433 tonnes averaging at 2,077 tonnes each day. In the third quarter, the average gold cost was higher at $1,902 per ounce as compared with $1,634 in the first half. The cost of silver price also came higher at $24 per ounce from $17. As for gold sales, they reached 26,031 ounces in the third quarter, and silver sold during the period rose to 140,240 ounces.Apex Mining said that during the period of July-September, higher metal prices contributed to the higher net income as compared to the third quarter of 2019 - where the average price was at $1,472 per ounce for gold and $17 per ounce for silver.The Sangilo mine located in Itogon, Benguet of Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. (ISRI), a wholly-owned subsidiary, declared the start of its commercial operation at 200 tonnes per day during the end of July.While quarantine measures and restrictions have been imposed. Apex Mining remarked that they will still continue with the exploration and resource validation work in Suyoc in Mankayan, Benguet continues.Besides ISRI, Apex accounts also include that of Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc., that has a processing plant in Paracale, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte.Presently, shares of Apex Mining increased to 0.52 per cent or P0.01 at P1.95 each.
Place your Ad Here!
Philippine Resources - November 17, 2020
COMP Welcomes Regulation of Small Scale Mining
Composed of some of the country’s largest mining companies, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has welcomed the proposal of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to further regulate small-scale mining (SSM) activities in the Philippines. However, the group also added that MGB must be careful in putting stringent measures in place. “We welcome the government’s efforts to bring the entire SSM operations within the ambit of regulation. SSM has a role to play in the development of our country’s mineral resources as SSM provides income and employment to our countrymen,” Rocky Dimaculangan, vice president for corporate communications at COMP, said. “So long as stringent security measures and safety protocols are followed — in coordination with the government, the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines], and the PNP [Philippine National Police] — the use of explosives in mining is safe and globally accepted.”Under current laws, the principle of SSM is artisanal which doesn’t allow the use of explosives and heavy equipment. MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano said the plan is to amend the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act or Republic Act (RA) 7076 to expand the definition of SSM activities in the country. In this proposal, SSM should have two definitions - the first is to regulate the use of explosives and the other is to use the traditional method that depends heavily on manual labour. In a report, Moncano said, “Despite several arrests and CDOs [cease and desist orders] in operations of the TF [task force] in these SSM hot spots, for some reason, they can still procure the explosives even if it is prohibited in SSM mining operations. The government needs to update the antiquated provisions of the law to be attuned to the current situation.”Furthermore, Dimaculangan said that those who wish to go beyond the limitations of using heavy equipment and explosives should be properly regulated under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and should not only pay the excise tax but follow environmental protection and management regulations and rules. They should also implement community and social development programs as legitimate large-scale miners. Meanwhile, Green Thumb Coalition (GTC) Convenor and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera said that if the government allows the use of explosives, this will negate the limited nature of SSM and introduce more risks to miners who don’t have proper training. “This will also increase the chances of illegal trading and illegal possession of explosives that can go to wrong hands (bandits, rebels) and tempt the custodians of explosives to sell explosives. This may result in more chaos in artisanal and SSM areas,” Garganera said, adding that MGB has limited capacity to regulate and monitor SSM. “It doesn’t even have a reliable database of SSM,” he said.
Philippine Resources - November 17, 2020
Government Moves to Regulate Small Scale Mining
The government has moved in to regulate and formalise the small-scale mining industry to boost economic recovery.According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in a recent virtual forum, the agency is now crafting amendments to Republic Act 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991. Some of these new provisions include regulating the use of explosives for small-scale mining, the requirement for small-scale miners to provide funds for the environment - which remain tax-free until now. “It needs to be revised to be attuned with the current times. In reality now, small-scale mining is not done manually unlike before,” MGB acting director Wilfredo Moncano said. “They need to contribute to environmental protection, when you aggregate that, it would be huge. We will require small-scale mining operators to contribute funds for environmental protection and safety.”The government has been trying to regulate small-scale mining but nothing has been done. Last year, the government issued stricter compliance on the disposal of residual stockpiles or ores extracted before - but not yet thrown away during the mining contract.Meanwhile, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Jim Sampulna said small-scale miners have been the problem of the agency, although the agency has pointed out that they are major contributors to the recovery of the economy. “While we tax large miners, these small miners are tax-free. And they are earning as much as the same as the big companies,” Sampulna said. “We need to focus on them because it appears that they are becoming syndicates. The mining industry is our last card as far as the economy is concerned.”
Philippine Resources - November 13, 2020
Regulated Use of Explosives May be Allowed in Small Scale Mining Ops
A top official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has said that regulated use of explosives in small-scale mining areas may now be allowed in the amended version of the Republic Act (RA) 7076 or the People’s Sm3all-Scale Mining Act.According to MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano, his agency is now drafting proposed amendments to RA 7076, containing two definitions of small-scale mining - regulated use of explosives and traditional methods that depend on manual labour. Under RA 7076, small-scale mining describes mining activities which depend on manual labour using simple methods. The law says small-scale mining “does not use explosives or heavy mining equipment”. “The concept of small-scale mining before is really ‘mano-mano’ or manual labor. It was supposed to be artisanal. But in reality, and right now, there is no mano-mano anymore. For some reasons, small-scale miners already use explosives in the development of their mine sites,” Moncano said. He added that MGB wants to “regulate the use of explosives by amending that provision of the 1991 SSM law that prohibits the use of explosives because in reality, they have been using it to develop the tunnels”.“Despite several arrests and CDOs [cease and desist orders] in operations of the TF [task force] in these SSM hot spots, for some reason, they can still procure the explosives even if it is prohibited in SSM mining operations. The government needs to update the antiquated provisions of the law to be attuned to the current situation,” Moncano said.Moncano also said that the government can now look at the work programs of SSM and check to see the quality of explosives that miners could use. In fact, he said that Senator Bong Go has already worked on some initiatives to push for this SSM Act. Furthermore, newly appointed Environment Undersecretary for Enforcement, Mining, and Muslim Affairs Jim Sampulna said that the government also needs improvement in regulating the SSMs. “The problem about small scale miners, while we tax large miners, they seem to operate tax-free. Some big mining companies that are no longer operational, they allow small-scale miners to operate [on their mine sites] to do away with taxes. We don’t sleep, we know all these things. I’m planning to call the attention of this company,” Sampulna said.This, of course, didn’t sit well with some environmental groups. Jaybee Garganera, Green Thumb Coalition (GTC) Convenor and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator said that allowing explosives to be used in SSM shall negate the limited nature of SSM, and introduce more risks to miners who are not equipped. In the Philippines, places, where SSM can legally operate, are called Minahang Bayan, regulated and approved by the government.Last year, MGB issued the Department Administrative Order 2019-19 (DAO 2019-19), to fast track the environmental restoration both after and during mining operations by the Minahang Bayan. Under this new DAO, SSM operations now have stricter conditions in the disposal of ores or residual stockpiles extracted before but not yet disposed of during the mining contract.The disposal is also implemented under a required Environmental Management Plan (EMP) where miners must submit their environmental management objectives and their commitment to rehabilitate and protect the environment.