Philippine Resources - August 03, 2022
SMPC nets P10.8B in Q2, up 171%; H1 earnings surge to record high
Photo credit: PH Stocks Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) posted P10.8 billion in second-quarter net income, 171 percent better than the P4 billion reported last year. All-time high coal selling prices coupled with higher spot electricity sales volume at elevated prices accounted for the upsurge. From January to June, SMPC’s bottom line more than quadrupled (311%) from P6.3 billion to P25.8 billion, its highest for any given semester. “As expected, we had a weaker performance quarter over quarter because of the China lockdowns but compared to last year, we did very well,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. “We maintain our view that the second semester will be anemic because of market volatility and unfavorable weather conditions,” she added. For the second quarter alone, contributions from the coal segment grew by 195 percent from P3 billion to P9 billion while SEM-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC) accounted for P1 billion, up 81 percent from P581 million. Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC) contributed P742 million, a 107-percent increase from P359 million. Coal Operating Results Total shipments from April to June dropped by 24 percent from 4.9 million metric tons (MMT) to 3.7 MMT as China imposed COVID-19 lockdowns and shifted to Russian coal. Export sales plunged by 44 percent from 3.2 MMT to 1.8 MMT while domestic sales grew by 12 percent from 1.7 MMT to 1.9 MMT. Buffering the impact of lower shipments was the 126-percent increase in average selling prices from P2,393 to P5,399, the highest for any given quarter. Heavy rainfall and higher stripping activities curbed coal production, dropping 21 percent from 4.3 MMT to 3.4 MMT. This, together with lower sales volume, raised high-grade coal inventory by 50 percent from 1.0 MMT to 1.5 MMT. Power Operating Results Overall gross generation in the second quarter was mostly flat at 984 GWh as SCPC Unit 2 remained on forced outage because of a defective generator stator. Total electricity sales declined by 9 percent from 987 GWh to 900 GWh, most (56%) of which was sold to the spot market. The rest (393 GWh) was sold through bilateral contracts. High uncontracted capacity allowed SMPC to boost spot electricity sales by 188 percent from 176 gigawatt-hour (GWh) to 507 GWh. Average spot selling prices remained elevated at P6.91 versus P6.87 last year. Total spot purchases declined by 60% from P617 million to P245 million on higher plant availability, which improved by 8 percent from 60% to 65%. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - August 02, 2022
A kick-off to a modernized mining compliance and monitoring system
Photo: Group photo of the participants after the MGB Management approved the Capstone Project (CP) for implementation during CP Orientation on July 12, 2022 With the start of online transactions, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is currently developing a system that will serve as a digital platform for the submission of the compliances by the mining companies and stakeholders with the terms and conditions of the Contracts/Permits/other similar Mining Tenements, and other pertinent laws, rules, and regulations. The project is the approved Capstone Project (CP) of Mr. Jeffrey S. Ledesma, a scholar of the Development Academy of the Philippines under the Public Management Development Program. His CP entitled, “Strengthening Mining Monitoring Method by Enhancing Mining Compliance Procedures Through Process Automation: Development of an Electronic Mining Compliance and Monitoring System (eMCMS)” was conceptualized through the guidance of his Institutional Partners, Engr. Nonita S. Caguioa, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems, and Mining Concerns and Engr. Teodorico A. Sandoval, Chief of the MGB Planning, Policy, and International Affairs Division (PPIAD). The project was approved for implementation by the MGB Management on July 12, 2022, during the CP Orientation. The project targeted the internal and external stakeholders as the beneficiaries. It is designed in three phases based on its scope and coverage in terms of mining scale, mineral type, and policy requirements. The Phase I will serve as the pilot phase which aims to use the system by the selected mining companies who will initially be engaged in the design, development, and implementation. Phases II and III will commence after the successful pilot testing and integration of provisions in the mining-related policies which will serve as the legal basis for its implementation. Phase I is expected to be completed at the end of September 2022. The eMCMS development is an in-house system development through the collaborative effort of the eMCMS Technical Working Group created on July 28, 2022. The success of this project will improve the organizational productivity of the MGB and mining companies’ technical personnel conducting the monitoring activities and mining compliance respectively. Likewise, it will provide an efficient and effective way of delivering services to its stakeholders because of the conversion of manual to electronic and digital transactions. It is also expected that related information will easily be generated and shared to the public. This initiative will ensure the integration of other government policies such as the ease of doing business, e-commerce law, and the Data Privacy Act among others. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - July 28, 2022
Atlas Mining Attained Php2 Billion Net Income in 1H 2022
Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (“Atlas Mining”) completed the first half of the year 2022 with a reported net income of Php2 billion compared to the net income of Php1.935 billion for the same period in 2021. The improvement in the bottom line is attributed to the considerable increase in grades and metal prices during the first half of the year. Atlas Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corporation, reported copper metal production from 38.73 million pounds in 2021 to 36.58 million pounds in 2022 which attributed to lower tonnage milled. In the first half of 2022, milling tonnage decreased by 6% from 9.26 million tonnes to 8.66 million tonnes. On the other hand, copper grade increased by 1% from 0.231% to 0.234% and gold grade improved by 6% from 5.09 grams/dmt to 5.41 grams/dmt. Copper metal content of concentrate shipped decreased by 2% to 38.80 million pounds but gold content increased by 6% to 11,212 ounces due to higher gold grade. The increase in metal prices continued in the first half of this year where copper price increased by 6% from $4.21/lb to $4.45/lb and gold price increased by 4% from USD1,812/ounce to USD1,879/ounce compared to the same period last year. Number of shipments were comparatively the same as first half of last year but the higher prices in the first half of this year pushed revenues to grow by 8% to Php9.74 billion from Ph9.01 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) settled at Php3.89 billion in the second quarter of 2022 compared to Php4.93 billion in the same period of 2021. The reduction was caused by the increase in energy cost particularly power and fuel. This likewise pulled down core income for the period to Php930 million in the first half of 2022 from Php2.16 billion in same period of 2021. Accordingly, cash generated from operations improved which enabled the additional loan payment of $60 million of Atlas Mining’s loans on the first half of 2022. With the partial repayment of loan, an accounting gain of Php938 million was recognized in the second quarter. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
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Philippine Resources - July 28, 2022
Ilocos Norte to recognize best practices in mining
Photo credit: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte logo Ilocos Norte is set to recognize the public and the private sector’s initiatives and exemplary achievements in promoting responsible mining. Provincial administrator Yvette Convento-Leynes confirmed this on Monday as she reported that the awarding of outstanding partners is set on July 27 in time for a provincial mining summit at the JLP Resort in Barangay Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. “One of the highlights of the summit is to recognize and give special wards to our outstanding quarry permittees who adhere to our rules and regulations as well as those who help us in apprehending violators,” she said, stressing the importance of the quarry industry as a major source of local revenue in the province. “This is the only way to thank them for the contributions they are giving to the province,” she said. The provincial government, however, has yet to announce the awardees. To date, the Provincial Quarry Office reported that there are about 60 permit holders of commercial sand and gravel and 22 permittees of industrial sand and gravel. Hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment and Management Bureau and in cooperation with the Ilocos Norte government, the mining summit aims to discuss pressing issues and concerns for the minerals industry in the region. Existing quarry permittees, including new permit applicants, are expected to attend to help them become updated of the best practices and new mining policies. Earlier, the Commission on Audit commended the Provincial Quarry Office under the provincial government for increasing its quarry collections to PHP43.8 million in 2021 as compared to the PHP26.8 million in the previous year. By Leilanie Adriano Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Marcelle P. Villegas - July 24, 2022
MPSA granted to Semirara, door opens for more projects after issuance of E.O. No. 130
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) announced on 10 March 2022 that the DENR has granted MPSA 352-2022-VI to DMCI Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC). The MPSA is for SMPC’s Hamalian Limestone Project which is located at Semirara Island in Caluya, Antique. The project covers an area of 3,807.0571-hectares. This MPSA now gives SMPC the exclusive rights to begin mining operations within the contract for a period of 25 years. This is renewable for the like period.
Marcelle P. Villegas - July 23, 2022
Senator Praises South Cotabato Governor for Vetoing Ban on Open-Pit Mining
Last June 3, 2022, Gov. Tamayo announced in a public statement his decision to veto Ordinance No. 23, Series of 2022 that was passed by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) (or Provincial Board) of South Cotabato last May 16, 2022. The ordinance modified the Provincial Environmental Code of South Cotabato and lifted the ban on open-pit mining in the province.  In response to this, Senator Leila M. De Lima praises Governor Tamayo Jr. for his rejection of the ordinance.
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Marcelle P. Villegas - July 22, 2022
Atty Quintero on legal framework and updates on regulations in mining
What does it take to own and operate a mining company in the Philippines? Mining is one of the industries that heavily revolves around a number of laws and regulations. On Day 2 of the Philippine Mining Virtual Summit (17 March 2022), Atty Dennis A. Quintero of the Quisumbing Torres Law Office was one of the presenters. Atty Quintero gave a comprehensive report titled "Philippine Mining Legal Framework / Updates on Regulations". Known as one of the top lawyers in the Philippines, Atty Quintero is also a Chairman and Trustee of the Philippines-Australia Business Council (PABC). He is a member and active advocate of the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code Committee.
Philippine Resources - July 11, 2022
Celsius’ Sagay Project Exploration Permit Extended
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Celsius Resources is pleased to announce that the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has granted a six month extension to the exploration permit for the Sagay Copper-Gold Project, extending the permit term up to February 2024. The Sagay Project is held under Celsius’ Philippine subsidiary Tambuli Mining Company, Inc. (“TMCI”). In a letter to TMCI, the MGB stated that the request for extension was approved as it falls under the definition of force majeure or justifiable causes under the Philippine Mining Act.(1) “The MGB was extremely supportive of granting the permit extension to provide enough time for the company to carry out our approved work programs as part of developing the Sagay mineral resource into an economically viable project in support to the national government’s economic recovery efforts,” said Celsius Resources Executive Chairman Martin Buckingham. The grant of extension is consistent with the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework under the new Marcos Administration, affirming his predecessor’s (Duterte Administration) recognition of mining as among the country’s major economic growth sectors. In a press briefing in Malacañang on 6 July 2022, Philippines Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno acknowledged the mining industry’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and most recently conveyed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s expressed desire to revive the mining industry. Industry leaders, including the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, welcomed the government’s economic strategy as it will provide a much-needed boost to an industry that has been saddled with policy roadblocks in previous years. “This pronouncement from the Finance Secretary is a clear manifestation of the Philippine government’s continued strong support and renewed commitment to revitalise the local mining industry. It will further boost the potential of developing MCB and Sagay Mineral Resources into economically viable and socially transformative mining projects that will strictly adhere to ESG principles and significantly contribute to the Philippine National Economic Recovery Program,” said Atty. Julito R. Sarmiento, President of Makilala Mining Co. Inc. (MMCI) and Tambuli Mining Co Inc. (TMCI) both Philippine subsidiaries of Celsius Resources. The Philippine Mining Industry played a significant role in the country’s economic growth amid the pandemic, contributing about PhP102.3 Billion to the GDP in 2020, according to a report by the Philippine Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB). The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is ramping up its efforts in attracting investors for the mining industry under its “Make it Happen in the Philippines Investment” campaign. DTI is banking on the copper industry as one of the five key sectors to attract foreign investments for the extraction and manufacturing of high-value copper products industry. This is a timely development as Celsius continues to seek for a joint venture partner that shares the same principles and vision to develop the Sagay property in a sustainable manner. The same can be said for the MCB project as it progresses with its applications for a Declaration of Mine Project Feasibility and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA). Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
Philippine Resources - July 07, 2022
CLA hits 611.4m @ 1.39% copper and 0.75g/t gold at MCB
Photo credit: Celsius Resources We are pleased to announce we have received outstanding large scale and high-grade assay results from the ongoing drilling program at our flagship MCB copper-gold project, held under our Philippine subsidiary Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”). Highlights Intersection of 611.4m @ 1.39% copper and 0.75g/t gold from 32.5m (1.67% CuEq*). Multiple internal higher-grade results confirmed: 150.85m @ 1.90% copper and 1.57g/t gold from 207.15m (2.55% CuEq*), 234.45m @ 1.90% copper and 0.87g/t gold from 391.55m (2.22%CuEq*) and, 77.55m @ 2.47% copper and 2.12 g/t gold from 232.10m (3.34%CuEq*) The results are in line with other recent drilling results from holes MCB-036 and MCB-037 (see CLA announcements dated 13 December 2021 and 23 May 2022, respectively) confirming the presence of an extensive shallow higher-grade position. MCB-038 continued on further to confirm and expand the position of two additional higher-grade zones which have a horizontal orientation within a larger and broader lower grade envelop. The results from MCB-038 were designed to improve the confidence level of the existing Mineral Resource in addition to focusing on defining further higher-grade positions for the purpose of enhancing the feasibility study. Celsius Executive Chairman, Mr. Martin Buckingham said: “The results from MCB-038 are exceptional, and we believe reflect the quality of the MCB deposit. We still have a few more diamond drill holes to come which are planned to further define the shallow and easy to access higher-grade copper at MCB. The drilling results over the past 6 months have identified important additions to copper mineralisation and we are looking forward to understanding the impact of these results as we move into our JORC Update resource estimate and feasibility studies in the second half of this year. These large intersections have substantial gold credits to result in very high CuEq values after allowing for the estimated recoveries of both the copper and gold.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources
Marcelle P. Villegas - July 06, 2022
President Duterte appoints PRJ columnist Penarroyo as new PRB chairperson for Geology
Philippine Resources Journal congratulates our very own columnist, Atty Fernando “Ronnie” S. Penarroyo, for his recent appointment as the new Chairperson for the Professional Regulatory Board for Geology (PRB Geology). For several years now, Atty Penarroyo has been one of the main contributors in our publication. He specializes in Energy and Resources Law, Project Finance and Business Development. Through his informative and well-researched editorials in Philippine Resources Journal, he brought light and clarity to many complex issues surround the mining industry. As a notable alumnus of BS Geology and Bachelor of Laws at the University of the Philippines and former President of the Geological Society of the Philippines, Atty Penarroyo guided and mentored many young students in the field of Geology. He also studied at the University of Melbourne in 2001-2002 for his Master of Laws. In 1988-1989, he earned a Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Exploration, Geological/Geophysical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Atty Penarroyo studied Management, Petroleum Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992.
Philippine Resources - June 24, 2022
Celsius confirms copper near surface at Sagay Project
Photo credit: Celsius Resources Celsius Resources is pleased to announce it has received results from 3 drill holes confirming shallow extensions to the large-scale copper mineralisation previously discovered at its Sagay Project held under its Philippine subsidiary Tambuli Mining Company, Inc. “The copper mineralisation covers a huge area at Sagay at depth, and we are now proving this up at shallower levels. This round of drilling has confirmed that the mineralisation now extends up close to the surface, extending up from the earlier discoveries which has intersected copper mineralisation from around 100 meters to over 1,000 metres depth.” Celsius Executive Chairman, Martin Buckingham. The results identified extensive geological alteration and other features which are interpreted to be linked to the porphyry copper mineralisation at Sagay. Broad zones of low grade copper mineralisation were also intersected in all three drill holes, including 44.3m @ 0.27% copper from 139.2m in SGY-036, 112.2m @ 0.16% copper from 197m in hole SGY-038A and 247m @ 0.14% copper from 113m (to the end of the drill hole). “The discovery of key geological features and copper mineralisation near the surface is an important stepping stone, with further follow-up now required to define the higher grade core to this system also at shallow levels. This is extremely encouraging as it also allows us to consider lower cost bulk mining methods as part of our next phase of studies at the Nabagia-a Hill Project area.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources. Full press release can be found HERE
Philippine Resources - June 23, 2022
PH withdraws from global initiative on extractives transparency
The Philippines has withdrawn from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on the back of questionable metrics and procedures for assessing the compliance of implementing-countries with the international organization’s transparency requirements. In a June 20, 2022 letter addressed to EITI chairman and former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III called EITI’s Validation –a quality assurance assessment process– “subjective, biased and unfair.” “We find that the manner by which the EITI Board undertakes its validation is unduly subjective, biased and unfair. The Philippines has no confidence in the ability of the EITI to undertake an impartial, transparent, and evidence-based validation process,” Dominguez said. The Department of Finance (DOF) chairs the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), a multi-stakeholder body that governs the implementation of the EITI in the Philippines. EITI prescribes a standard for transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas industries. Extractive companies in implementing-countries are engaged to publicly disclose data on taxes, royalties and other payments they make to the government and their host-communities. In his letter, Dominguez said the country has been treated unfairly by the EITI Board by using irrelevant metrics and relying on unvalidated reports in assessing the status of civic space in the extractives sector. The DOF repeatedly sought the details of alleged issues on civic space to enable the government to address the same. The EITI, however, has not supplied the requested details. Dominguez called out EITI for its lack of due process and for imposing actions on the Philippines that violate the country’s sovereignty. “We refuse to be taken hostage by unverified allegations from foreigners and people who have no mandate from the electorate,” he said. The Philippines has been implementing the EITI since 2013. In 2016, the EITI recognized the country for its impactful implementation. EITI implementing-countries undergo validation every three years. In 2017, the Philippines was declared the first among more than 50 countries in the world to have achieved satisfactory progress in meeting the EITI requirements. Over the years, the country has demonstrated innovation and best practices in the areas of contract and beneficial ownership transparency, and social, environmental, employment, and gender data disclosures. The Philippines has also sustained and broadened stakeholder engagement amid extreme situations, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Despite the withdrawal from the EITI, Dominguez said the Philippines has the process, systems and manpower to ensure transparency in the extractives sector. “The government will continue to champion better resource and revenue management, and ensure that resource utilization remains open, accountable, and responsive to the needs and aspirations of Filipinos,” he added.
Philippine Resources - June 22, 2022
Marcos eyes VAT from partially-processed ore exports
Photo by Roel N. Catoto Instead of increasing taxes on mining, President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said he is eyeing the collection of value-added taxes (VAT) from the export of partially-processed ore. “What we would like to do is encourage that the value added [taxes] to the raw ore stay in the Philippines as much as possible. Whether there should be fiscal measures in that regard is something we have not decided on and what the levels that will be. But I think what we are trying to achieve, the desired result for all of this, is instead of exporting raw ore, we export at least partially-processed ore so that may value added that’s left in the Philippines,” he said in a press briefing in Mandaluyong City. Marcos also emphasized the need to push for “clean mining” in the country, citing its negative environmental impact. “I cannot believe that here in the Philippines we cannot monitor and regulate the mining industry sufficiently so that we can have clean mining in the country,” he said. He lamented that practices in the mining industry in the country remain problematic. “We have to view the natural resources as a national treasure which can help the Philippines a great deal. It is only up to us to ensure that the practices that we see in the mining operations in the country are such that they are environmentally neutral,” he added. Earlier, the economic team of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the revival of the mining industry to generate more jobs. Duterte has repeatedly urged the mining industry to observe stricter environmental rules or risk getting shut down. In April 2021, Duterte issued an executive order lifting the nine-year moratorium on mineral agreements to spur economic growth and support projects and programs of the government. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in December 2021, issued an administrative order lifting the four-year ban on the open-pit method of mining. By Azer Parrocha Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - June 09, 2022
Incoming Albay guv to complete mining site rehab
Photo: Albay Governor-elect Noel Rosal said part of the agenda of his incoming administration is to look at and monitor the accomplishments in the rehabilitation of mining sites to make sure these are safe and beneficial to the surrounding communities. In an interview on Wednesday, he said once he assumes the post, the provincial government of Albay would coordinate with the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) about the status of the rehabilitation of the closed mining site on Rapu-Rapu island that is being implemented by Rapu Rapu Mining Company. “We only want to know the progress of rehabilitation but the provincial government has no jurisdiction in the rehab implementation because it is under the jurisdiction of MGB,” Rosal added. It was earlier reported that the mining site rehabilitation has been dragging for several years now after the mining company ceased operations in 2013. Guillermo Molina IV, MGB director for Bicol, in a separate interview, said the mining company has accomplished 84 percent of its rehabilitation work including the planting of pine trees, cogon grass, and other endemic plants, and the road construction in urban areas connecting to the mining site. He said the mining firm has deposited in the government depository bank PHP309 million for the rehabilitation and other improvements of the place. “We will give the mining company at least five years to finish the rehabilitation work in order for the government to plan what is the best thing to do for the place to be more beneficial to the people,” Molina added. He said the DENR has approved the planned conversion of the mining site into eco-tourism and agro-tourism areas. Molina said more infrastructure such as roads and bridges have to be built in the closed mining site, as well as sustainable power and water distribution facilities. Under rehabilitation in Rapu-Rapu are the villages of Pagcolbong, Malobago, and Binosawan, covering over 101 hectares, including 26 hectares of the open pit, 24 hectares of tailing facilities, five hectares of the processing plant, and 26 hectares of tailing storage enhancement. The mining operation in the area was started in 2005 by the Lafayette mining firm but it was stopped in 2013 due to alleged environmental law violations. The Rapu Rapu Mining Company then took over and was given 10 years by the DENR to rehabilitate the site. By Emmanuel Solis Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - June 06, 2022
SoCot guv vetoes open-pit mining ordinance
Photo: South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. Photo from the South Cotabato provincial government Facebook page South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. has vetoed the amended Environment Code Ordinance that sought to lift the open-pit mining ban in the province. In a press conference Friday, Tamayo said he was quite surprised that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) "quickly" approved the amendments to the ordinance during a session on May 16. He was out of the country when a majority of the SP members passed the amended ordinance. “I don’t know the reason behind the quick approval; I am returning the ordinance to the SP,” Tamayo said. Since the council is in recess, the governor said the matter would be discussed by the next set of provincial board members. In his veto, Tamayo invoked Section 55 of the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160), describing the amendment as “prejudicial to the public welfare and inimical to the overall interest of South Cotabateños.” “I could not find any compelling reason why the SP would amend a decade-old ordinance that ably and effectively protect the people of South Cotabato from the ill-effects of the wanton destruction of our God-given resources,” he said. Tamayo was quick to add though that the environment code has nothing to do with the operation of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan town. “The ordinance only regulates mining operations within the authority of the local government unit like small-scale mining,” he said. Ordinance 04, series of 2010, entitled “An Ordinance Providing for the Environment Code of the Province of South Cotabato”, was passed on June 9, 2010. In 2015, the SP filed a resolution affirming the open-pit mining ban in the province. Pro-mining groups earlier said the open-pit mining ban in South Cotabato hampered the development of the copper and gold mine project in Tampakan, touted as the largest in Southeast Asia. Anti-mining groups, however, said the project endangered not only the environment but also the lives of residents. SMI has been pursuing the Tampakan gold project for more than a decade. By Roel Osano Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency