Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019
Oil and Gas PH 2019 and PhilMarine 2019
By Marcelle P. Villegas 18 - 20 June 2019 - Oil and Gas Philippines is co-located with PhilMarine 2019 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. This is an annual three-day event that features products in the oil and gas sector, fire protection systems and materials, flare systems and equipment, electromechanical equipment, ships, boats, vessel equipment and services, and more! Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) hosted the PhilMarine 2019 and their theme is “Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement in the Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Sector.” On day 1 at the 6th PhilMarine 2019 International Maritime Exhibition, the Maritime Industry Authority Technical Conference was held. Also on this day, the MARINA signed an agreement with a Japanese association to adopt Japanese technology in the manufacturing of resources for the Philippine shipbuilding and ship repair industry (SBSR). The cooperation agreement was signed by Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson, Jr (MARINA Officer in Charge) and Chairman Shinzo Yamada of Japan Ship Machinery and Equipment Association (JSMEA).  “With Japan’s latest technologies and expert strategies, it has sufficient machinery and technical skills to discover and provide solutions to challenges. We hope that this cooperation agreement between the MARINA and JSMEA will aid us in building a solid ancillary industry for SBSR sector, which will generate jobs for millions of Filipinos... Together, let us achieve a mutual progress of having a flourishing Philippine maritime industry.” he stated.  Vice Admiral Vingson said that this agreement will open new opportunities for partnership in investments between the Japanese and Filipino businesses. This will give local shipbuilders an easy access to good quality shipbuilding and ship repair materials. He also stated that the objective of the Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) will be more feasible now since locally manufactured resources are already within reach. “So, in 10 year, hopefully, the programs under the MIDP are no longer plans, but tangible results.” Mr Yamada said, “We believe that with the MoU (memorandum of understanding), it would bring a solid relationship between MARINA and JSMEA and a good relationship between the Philippines and Japan.” He noted that the Southeast Asian maritime market is important to JSMEA. Thus, he hopes that his company will be able to provide progress in the maritime industry in the Philippines.  PhilMarine 2019 is the only specialised event in the Philippines that brings together an international array of maritime, shipbuilding, offshore, oil and gas naval defense, and other supporting industries to showcase the latest developments in the maritime industry. The objective is to improve the current shipbuilding, technology and equipment and to maintain the Philippines’ ranking as the world’s 5th largest shipbuilding nation. On day 2, “The Philippine’s Domestic Shipping Modernization Forum and SONAME General Assembly and Election” was held. This was hosted by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Inc. (SONAME). Welcome Remarks were given by Engr. Sammuel T. Lim, Chairman of SONAME. Some of the topics presented were: - “Philippine Domestic Shipping & Shipbuilding Situation: by Engr. Ramon C. Hernandez (Director, Shipyard Regulations Service, Maritime Industry Authority) - “High-Speed Craft Technologies for Philippine Shipping” by Ms Julie Zhu, General Manager, Pio-Ship Design & System Integrate and Harbin Engineering University Ship Equipment & Technology Co. Ltd. - “Probabilistic Damage Stability - Case Studies for Philippine Ferries” by Engr. Jerome M. Manuel (Pres., PRS Tech) - “The Shipbuilding Cooperation between Philippines and China” by Mr Wang Xiaohal (Vice General Manager, China Shipbuilding Trading, Co. Ltd. - Shanghai) On day 3, the 146th Maritime Forum and Exhibitors Night were held. The PhilMarine 2019 had attendees from 20 countries. There were 152 companies/exhibitors who participated at the 6,500 square meter exhibition space. Of note, 60% of the companies in the exhibit have already renewed their participation for 2020. The event was organised by Fireworks Trade Exhibitions and Conferences Philippines, Inc. This company is a part of Fireworks Trade Media Group, one of Asia’s largest independently owned trade media companies. Reference:  Factao, Genevi. (19 June 2019). “Pro-ship sector agreement signed”. The Manila Times.
Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019
Philex Mining CEO's Message On The Golden Age of Mining
By Marcelle P. Villegas On 14 June 2019, The Philippine Mining Club celebrated their 50th Luncheon Anniversary. Their special guest speaker for this luncheon was Mr Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. who is the President and CEO of Philex Mining Corporation. His presentation’s title is "The Future: Padcal and Silangan". With the many hurdles and challenges that the industry is facing today, what can we learn from a 60-year-old mining project like Padcal? Mr Austin started his discussion with the World Happiness Report 2019 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It states that the Philippines ranked 69th out of the 156 nations in the World Happiness Index. The Philippines also ranked as the 12th among the countries that showed the highest increase in level of happiness between the periods of 2005-2008 and 2016-2018. Then, he showed a clipping from a newspaper article dated February 2008 with the statement -- "a Golden Age in Philippine Mining was coming" due to upcoming investments from the world's biggest mining and metals leaders. Generally, things look bright and promising for the Philippines. In the mining sector, we have the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) which was declared valid and constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2005. This Republic Act is "An Act Instituting A New System of Mineral Resources Exploration, Development, Utilization and Conservation". However, he stated that by 2012, Executive Order 79 presented challenges for the industry all the way to 2016. He mentioned that the industry "has been highly injured because it was misunderstood". Mr Austin further noted that perhaps the boom years of mining were in the 1950s when gold and copper became the pillars of large-scale mining. That decade also ushered the introduction of new technologies in mining. From his report, he expressed that Philex Mining Corporation has been reaching milestones for decades. Their Padcal Mine just turned 60 years old in 2018. "Turning 60 is the age of senior citizenship and the age of retirement or retiring. The once-hectic pace of life is replaced with a 'delicious sense of calm, confidence and clarity of purpose'. Our Padcal Mine is settling into that delicious sense of calm." For the record, a total of 10 million trees were planted at Philex Padcal and other mining properties in more than 4,000 hectares of disturbed and undisturbed areas. Additionally, even before DENR mandated ISO 14001 certification in 2015, Philex Padcal Mine already secured IMS Certification (ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007) by TUV Rheinland. Philex has also taken the initiatives and introduced to the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines the "Towards Sustainable Mining" (TSM) commitment to promote responsible mining in cooperation with the Mining Association of Canada. "Initial Padcal mine life was originally up to 2014... All in all, while interim prospects remain subdued, we are determined to maximize the remaining mine life of Padcal." Now, the projected end-of-mine life of Padcal is 2022. "The closure of Padcal will be an opportunity for us to showcase that closing mines can be done properly with dignity." How did Philex Mining Corporation handle the TSF3 incident in 2012? It was on 1 August 2012 when Philex Mining suspended operations voluntarily as nontoxic tails and water discharge from the TSF3 spilled onto the Balog Creek. This was an effect of the destructive heavy rains brought about by Tropical Depression Ferdie (a.k.a. Typhoon Vicente) and Typhoon Gener which hit Benguet successively. The company resumed production only on 8 March 2013 due to the four-month temporary lifting order issued by the government which was extended indefinitely afterwards. Thus, the operations formally resumed on 27 August 2013.  Philex Mining Corporation was allowed to resume operations after they implemented urgent remediation measures such as providing immediate assistance to the affected residents, cleaning up the Balog Creek, and ensuring the integrity of its TSF3 by building an open spillway.  Regarding the hard lessons learned from the 2012 TSF3 incident, Mr Austin stated that they faced the challenge and "never ran away from our obligations". The first public consultation of its kind was conducted to address the problem. The company paid the government PHP1.34 billion for the tailings leak. This is the highest payment ever done by a single company. The spillway that the company constructed at the TSF3 is the first of its kind in tailings management in the Philippines. Mr Austin recalled, "It was a humbling experience for us but we have to prove that we are advocates of right and principled mining." His presentation also include the Silangan Project which is expected to generate 8,000 direct and indirect employment, raise PHP60 billion in investments, contribute PHP31 billion in taxes and will spend PHP6 billion for community development. "The project will proceed with underground sub-level cave mining method. Regulatory developments between 2016 - 2017 necessitated shift to underground mining from open-pit method. Sub-level caving presents itself to be a better method rather than block caving. Well-engineered solutions are now incorporated in our recent studies. Silangan Mindanao Mining is currently working on securing all necessary permits and approvals." To conclude his presentation, he left the audience with an optimistic message. "We have the opportunity to make Silangan and all other pending mining projects to make it big for the Philippines in the global market. We have the opportunity to make this the Golden Age of Mining now. Believe that best to come for the mining industry." Update on Silangan Project Last 1 August 2019, Philex Mining Corporation reported that the definitive feasibility study for the first phase of the Silangan Project is finally complete. The mine site is a development for high-grade copper and gold and is located at Surigao del Norte in Mindanao. Silangan is coined as one of the three major mining projects expected to push the Philippines as a regional copper producer. The mine site is composed of three tenements, namely: Boyongan, Bayugo and Kalayaan. On the first stage of the development of the Silangan Project, the Boyongan deposit is estimated to have a mine life of 22 years. Silangan is expected to produce high grade ores with 0.63% copper and 1.20 grams per tonne of gold.  Bayugo deposit is part of the second phase of the development and this is still under initial feasibility study for underground sub-level cave mining within the year. Philex Mining Corporation will be adopting underground sub-level cave mining for ore extraction. They shall be using state-of-the-art milling facility that uses modern convention technologies for ore processing. Mr Austin stated, "We are thrilled with the outcome of the study which reaffirms the immense potential and magnitude of the project. Over the next few months, we will be focusing our efforts on raising equity and financing for mine development." Philex Mining Corporation will allocate USD750 million for the Boyongan ore body development. For fund-raising, Philex has appointed J.P. Morgan for equity investment and Mizuho for project financing. The international law firm White & Case and local law firm Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan will be the legal consultants for this development project.  References:  Philex Mining Corporation website. Retrieved from - http://www.philexmining.com.ph/2017/07/29/mine-firm-assures-integrity-of-storage-facility/  Ison, Lilybeth. (1 Aug. 2019). "Philex completes feasibility study on Silangan project". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1076750
Philippine Resources - August 20, 2019
The PH Mining Club Celebrates its 50th Luncheon Anniversary
By Marcelle P. VillegasSince April 2011, the Philippine Mining Club has been a professional networking forum that brings industries together and creating opportunities. The club was established to form better relationships across all areas of the Philippine mining industry. Moreover, the Philippine Mining Club is affiliated with the globally-recognised Melbourne Mining Club.Their goal is "to uphold a professional networking environment in order to promote the mineral industry for those with an interest in the sector." In celebration of the club's milestone 50th luncheon event, Philippine Resources Journal has this exclusive interview with Mr Kevin Lewis and Mr Alexander Gilles, two important people behind the Philipine Mining Club.Creating a mining club in the Philippines that was patterned after the Melbourne Mining Club had its share of challenges and rewards. As a platform for communication among the industry's experts, executives, investors, government officials, media and students, the Philippine Mining Club has an interesting story behind its origin. Mr Kevin Lewis, General Manager of Philippine Mining Club, hails from Australia and has been living in the Philippines for almost 20 years now. In 2009, Mr Lewis and a partner decided to start a new venture called "World Resources Events and Consultancy Inc." which catered as a consultancy to the resources services industry with business development planning.  Due to many requests from people in the industry, the event side started with the concept of "Philippine Mining Club" which has brought to the lunchtime networking circuit many of the Philippine and international industry leaders as guest speakers, all under the banner of responsible mining. PRJ: When you first established the Philippine Mining Club, what was your goal or motivation for the events? Could you share with us how it all started?Mr Lewis: "The motivation was, at that time... I personally was at a loose end with my career at that time. It was also because my previous job included being part of a service area to mining and oil and gas. I identified the mining industry and oil and gas sectors as the ideal customers because they really didn't mince their words. They knew what they wanted. They knew when they wanted it, and they would tell you that. And most of all, the best thing was when it came to being paid, they always paid you. So I identified them as a group of people that we could always rely on as being good, A-class customers." "Because I've been dealing with the miners and mining groups and the oil and gas for so long, the relationship developed from being client to friends. And when they found out that I was leaving my previous job, they asked me what I was going to do next. At that time, I said I'm not too sure. Then, some of them asked me to see if I wanted to start a club for them -- a mining club.""And one of those gentlemen was Gavan Collery from Indophil at that time and he was a founding director of the Melbourne Mining Club. When he heard the others saying that they want a 'mining club', he said, 'Well the Melbourne Mining Club could use the Philippines as an affiliate.' So then we developed our relationship with the Melbourne Mining Club. We were lucky because, of course, Melbourne Mining Club is globally recognised and is the largest mining club globally, so we're quite privileged to be part of that." "So my motivation was the people that developed from clients to friends and with the support of the Melbourne Mining Club." PRJ: During the early days of the Philippine Mining Club, what were some of the challenges or difficulties that you and your team have encountered?Mr Lewis: "Some of the difficulties was doing it in the Philippines. At first, the Filipino people really did not understand what it was. They thought a club involved membership fees and all of those things that you would normally associate with a club. However, like the Melbourne Mining Club, the word 'club' is used loosely. It means that becoming a member simply meant that you want to be listed our mailing list. There are no fees to be a member. It is totally free. That was one challenge."PRJ: Tell us about your first ever mining luncheon event.Mr Lewis: "For our first mining luncheon ever on 8th of April 2011, we had Fernando Moya who was the Country Manager of Vale Exploration Philippines at that time. He was our first speaker and we had a full house! I think we had 180 to 200 people at the venue. We did have quite a few months lead after that particular event." "Once that event was finished, we had several companies come up to us who said that they wanted to be our marketing partners and sponsors. Therefore, we started there. We had a little bit more money in the bank to keep developing it and to develop our website. The Mining Club has never made a profit, so it is the support from the industry and the sponsors that make it happen. Without them, we have a short fall because we have students and CSR programs to support. We couldn't support the idea of the club without the help of the sponsors."PRJ: Could you mention some memorable moments or notable guest from the past luncheon events?Mr Lewis: "Yes, I can say we've had some speakers who really gripped the audience. One in particular was a gentleman called Mitch Hooke who was at the time the Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia. He came all the way from Melbourne to speak and he had a clear cut view on the mining industry as it is in Australia. As you might know, Australia is one of the leading mining countries in the world. The mining industry in Australia is pretty much black and white. It is pretty clear." "When he was introduced to the challenges that we face in the Philippines, he could not believe some of the hurdles facing the industry. So he actually opened up and said his mind about some of these hurdles and how he would have dealt with them. While he was talking, you could have heard a pin drop! The audience was mesmerized by his words.""I consider all of our speakers notable. Some of the others were Gerry Brimo from Nickel Asia Corporation. He gave his initial rebuttal to Gina Lopez that was prior to Lopez being the DENR Secretary, so that was quite a few years before that. That was an interesting talk.""Mick Wilkes has always been a good talker from OceanaGold, with the Didipio Project being their blue ribbon mine in there. He is always very happy to be here in the Philippines and he talked about how much he loves the Philippines. But he also talked about how much he thinks the Philippines misses out due to some of the regulations and some of the attitudes toward mining." "Another one is Mr Walter Brown who has spoken twice here. He is a good man and an intelligent man. Walter doesn't mince his words either. He is very clear cut on how he thinks things should be."Finally, Mr Lewis shares his special message about Philippine Mining Club and its media partner, Philippine Resources Journal. "I believe that literally the Philippines is sitting on a gold mine. I also believe that eventually they are going to discover that again. I said 'again' because it has in the past, but there will be a rebirth of the industry. For those people who continually support the Philippine Mining Club, they all know something is going to happen. The ones that will win are the people that believe that things will change in the Philippines and stick with it. Now, with respect to the Philipine Mining Club, I think the more people, the merrier. The more friendships they make, the more business I will be doing in the future.""We have always supported Philippine Resources Journal since the beginning. I think the journal has been on as long as Philippine Mining Club has been going... The magazine, Philippine Resources Journal, has been able to sustain itself during this period -- very tough time. And it is still the magazine of choice and it is still here." On our next edition, part 2 of the Philippine Mining Club 50th Luncheon Anniversary series, we shall feature stock market expert, Mr Alexander Gilles.Reference: Retrieved from Philippine Mining Club website - http://www.philippineminingclub.com/
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Philippine Resources - August 20, 2019
Smart Change in Mining with Hexagon Mining
By Marcelle P. Villegas3 June 2019, Manila Elks Club, Makati City -- For the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association Monthly Membership Meeting, two speakers from Brisbane, Australia presented for the evening. They are Ms Rhonda Bulmer (Sales and Account Manager) and Mr Luke Cecchi (Mining Application Engineer) from a company called Hexagon Mining. Their topic is “Hexagon Mining Solutions”.With the complexity and unique needs of a mining operation, specialised technology makes a big difference in ensuring success, efficiency and safety within the site. Hexagon Mining can help mining companies by providing the right tools, services and technology on every step of the operation.. Hexagon Mining is an information technology company that integrates planning, operations and safety solutions. “As champions of smart change, we recognize your competitive edge depends on a life-of-mine solution.” Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. They help manage data to assure efficiency, productivity and quality output in industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety and mobility applications. “Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous -- ensuring a scalable and sustainable future.” Hexagon has a Mining Division that links together all parts of a mine with technologies that handle data in real time. “Hexagon’s Mining division brings surveying, design, fleet management, production optimization, and collision avoidance together in a life-of-mine solution that connects people and processes. Our customers are safer, more productive and can make sense of their data.” Hexagon offers services that connects all parts of a mine while integrating, automating and optimizing critical workflows. “As energy costs fluctuate, high-grade ores become scarcer, and profit margins tighten, productive mines recognize that technology is essential to their success. Companies must be smarter, safer, and quicker to respond to change. Their future depends on it.” On initial geological planning stage for example, they assist in drillhole database management, statistical analysis, and explicit and implicit modelling. Other functions include geological interpretation, QA/QC, and block modelling modules. Further on in the operation, Hexagon offers Planning Evaluator which helps evaluate various scenarios, investigate ultimate pit limits, and generate the best value pushbacks. Planning - Schedule Optimizer offers the best value extraction sequence, detailed equipment modelling, spatial constraints and precedence. It is scalable for optimal plans across mine life. Then, there is the Planning - Activity Scheduler which offers the following benefits: customizable rules and workflow for rapid sequencing, resource achievable schedule, auditable and improvable configuration. Moreover, Hexagon’s services include Fleet Management UG and OP (FMS), Collision Avoidance System (CAS), and Fatigue Management System (FMS). Fleet management include Foundation and Pro systems for UG and OP to handle all kinds of environment and site requirements. To further ensure safety, since most operations run 24/7 in some sites, Hexagon solution suite has features like mature collision avoidance and fatigue tracking systems along with other safety solutions. Work scenario in a mine site is now safer and efficiency levels are improved with the help of these technological solutions. References: Retrieved from - https://hexagonmining.com/company Bulmer, Rhona. Cecchi, Luke. (3 June 2019) “Hexagon Mining Solutions”. Presentation during the PMEA Monthly Membership Meeting, Makati City, Philippines.
Marcelle P. Villegas - August 20, 2019
A Tribute to Masbate Gold Project's Scholars
There are many stories about scholarship programs sponsored by responsible mining companies. You may find these stories in company websites and brochures of mining companies. The stories may sound cliché or may have a mild impact on people who were never deprived of education. However, for someone who is financially struggling in life, finishing high school and college education through sponsorship of a mining company is a blessing and a gift of hope for a brighter future. Despite the significant number of beneficiaries from mining companies, there are still some who are unaware on how large-scale mining companies are effectively helping the Philippines in nation-building initiatives. Several mining companies provide scholarship programs and livelihood projects to host communities. Last May, Philippine Resources Journal was invited by Filminera Resources Corporation to come and visit the Masbate Gold Project (MGP) site in Aroroy, Masbate for a first-hand experience on how they take care of their host communities. One of the important events that MGP hosted and organised recently is the “Testimonial and Recognition Ceremony - A Tribute to MGP Scholars who graduated in School Year 2018 - 2019”. This was held last 22 May 2019 at the MPJ Function Hall, Poblacion, Aroroy, Masbate. Masbate Gold Project is operated by Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC) and Phil. Gold Processing & Refining Corp. (PGPRC). FRC is the holder of the mining tenements, surface rights and the Environmental Compliance Certificate. PGPRC is the owner and operator of the processing plant and is a subsidiary of B2Gold Corporation, a mining company that is based in Vancouver, Canada. MGP is a USD250-million project which represents the single largest investment in the Province of Masbate. Aroroy has always been an old mining town even before MGP started. There are archaeological discoveries in the area that show early gold mining and trading. For instance, there were Chinese jars from the 10th century that were found in Kalanay Village, Aroroy in 1930s. Kalanay Cave is one of the most important archaeological sites in Masbate province. Furthermore, in 1569, the Spaniards settlers here were trading gold and other commodities with China. Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. operated the mine area in 1980 until 1994. Then, MGP started in September 2007. After its first year of operation, MGP became the largest operating gold project in the Philippines. This ranking still remains today.  In 2018, Masbate Gold Project produced an annual record of 216,498 oz of gold.  The money invested by MGP helped the province recover from extreme poverty. In 2009, the Province of Masbate ranked as the 8th poorest province in the Philippines. By 2015, it later ranked as the 30th.  It was on that year when MGP produced its first one-millionth ounce of gold. Moreover, before MGP started their operation, the town was a 4th-class municipality, but today it is a 1st-class municipality. Education comprises a fourth of MGP’s Social Development Management Program (SDMP). MGP believes that giving opportunities for the less fortunate in their impact area to go to school is a legacy that will benefit generations. MGP has been providing scholarship grants to many high school and college students from its host communities. This started in 2009 during the first phase of their SDMP. Since its launch, there are now a total of 486 college scholars and 433 high school scholars who have graduated. This year alone, there are about 127 college graduates and 147 high school graduates as a product of MGP’s scholarship program. During the “Testimonial and Recognition Ceremony” event, Philippine Resources Journal interviewed one successful scholar. She is Ms Gladys Hinate Bangalisan who graduated last 27 March 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, Major in English. She finished her studies in Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology. Gladys is a young mother and MGP helped her achieve her goal of finishing college. In 2011, Gladys was appointed as a barangay health worker. Through MGP's scholarship program, she was able to finish high school and by 2015, Gladys received a college scholarship grant from MGP and graduated last March. "For me, being a scholar of MGP is such a big help. I came from a poor family and my parents cannot afford my education due to severe poverty. Because of our situation, I ended up getting married at an early age. I now have two children.” "Despite the fact that I got married at a young age, I held on to my dream of becoming a professional teacher someday. Filminera offered me the opportunity to become a scholar. Because of this, I was able to continue my studies, and with God's grace, I was able to finish." "For people who are against the mining industry, please think of us scholars as living proofs on how mining can bring a positive change in this country. MGP's scholarship program, for example, helps many poor people start a better life, and this is because of mining. Education is the key to success. Just like what our new mayor said, 'Gold will fade in time, but education cannot be taken away from a person.'" For more information about Masbate Gold Project, please visit: https://www.b2gold.com/projects/producing/masbate/ _ _ _ Acknowledgement: Ms Rosalie Taguba, Ms Noelle Nazareno, Ms Marie Lanie Lanuzo, Mr Rey Carlo Belgica and everyone from the Community Relations Department of Filminera Resources Corp, Masbate Gold Project _ _ _ References:  The WorldFolio website. Retrieved from - http://www.theworldfolio.com/company/masbate-gold-project-mgp/33/  B2Gold Website. Retrieved from - https://www.b2gold.com/media-gallery/producing/masbate-mine-phillippines/  (14 Nov 2016). "Maayos na! Masbate strips 'poor province' image". Politiko Bicol. Retrieved from - http://bicol.politics.com.ph/2016/11/14/maayos-na-masbate-strips-poor-province-image/
Philippine Resources - August 11, 2019
Murad encourages 'pro-people, pro-environment' mining in Bangsamoro
Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim encouraged mining companies to consider investing in mining operations in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).Speaking at a luncheon in Makati organized by the Philippine Mining Club on Friday, August 9, Murad also emphasized that the Bangsamoro government will only approve mining operations that respect the people and the ecological integrity of the new southern region."I invite you to explore opportunities on mining to bolster the economic development of the Bangsamoro," he told mining executives and leaders of mining groups."I hope that we do this with the lens of the 4 bottomlines that I have outlined. Profit, yes, but please include also the people, the planet, and the purpose for all this which is change for the good," Murad continued.Also in the audience were European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen, New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan, and Australian Ambassador Steve Robinson – envoys of countries with mining interests in the Philippines.The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government of the Bangsamoro, is honoring mining contracts entered into by the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said Murad.Mining audit, mining codeThe Bangsamoro Organic Law gives the BTA the power to grant mining permits for operations in the region.But before it exercises this power, the Bangsamoro government would first conduct an audit of mining operations in the region to ensure compliance to environmental regulations and other laws.The audit is to be led by BARMM Minister of Environment Abdulraof Macacua."In order for the administration to measure the impact of mining industry in the lives of our people, the BARMM Minister of Environment and Natural Resources constituted the mining performance audit team that will look into the compliance of these mining companies to their commitments, both in environmental and social contributions," said Murad. He told the mining executives that the mining audit shouldn't be seen as an effort to "find holes" in the mining industry but to "provide an avenue for a better, pro-environment, pro-people and responsible mining in the BARMM." Murad called the mining code the "responsible mining law.""This mining code shall address robust development, not at the expense of the environment," said the Chief Minister.Murad expects the audit results to be in by August and to be set for discussion by the Bangsamoro Parliament in September.The audit results would be among the considerations in crafting a Bangsamoro mining code, also to be led by Macacua.Macacua had been Murad's military chief, leading the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). He is also known by the name Sammy Gambar. Source: https://www.rappler.com/nation/237422-murad-encourages-pro-people-environment-mining-bangsamoro
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Philippine Resources - July 15, 2019
Mining Philippines 2019
Be part of this year’s game-changing conference. Join the country’s biggest and boldest collaboration of industry experts, analysts, business owners, contractors, investors and professionals.Since 1997, the Chamber of Mines has been at the helm of the latest updates and trends on mining and extractives. As one of the leading professional associations of the country’s largest mining, quarrying, and mineral processing companies, the Chamber organizes an annual event, dubbed as the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibit, held in September every year.Over 100 leading companies will showcase their latest technologies, innovations and services to the mining industry. On top of that, get the opportunity to witness the best practices of the top 10 leading mining companies in the Philippines today.Now on its 22ndyear, the Mining Philippines will see more companies come together to showcase their current and pipeline projects that will move forward the mining industry in the country.The exhibition floor will put on a display of leading mining companies, service providers and startups giving our 500+ attendees the chance to interact with a diverse array of technologies and innovations from local businesses and around the world.Don’t be left behind! Seize the opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking event!Pick out the best package to bring you and your company into the forefront of mining in the Philippines.DelegateRegister online as Delegate Download Delegate FormFee includes luncheons and receptions.. It does not include the cost of accommodation and travel. Attendance will be permitted upon receipt of full payment. Participants wishing to register on-site will be charged published rates.ExhibitYou may book you exhibit booth and choose 2m x 2m or 2m x 3m booth or customize your exhibit booth size.Download Exhibitor FormInclusions: carpeted floor area, partition walls and company name in fascia board, information table, 2 chairs, 2 fluorescent lamp sets, power outlet (300w), cleaning services, security, directory listing. For RAW SPACE only, carpet, power outlets, cleaning services, security and directory listing will be included.Please note that all booth allocations and ad spaces / Locations are on a “first come, first served” basis. A 50% down payment must be made within 2 weeks of the contract date and the remaining balance must be settled 2 weeks before commencement of the exhibit.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
AIA Celebrates 20 Years of Leadership in the Auction Industry
This year, Asia International Auctioneers, Inc. (AIA) marks its 20th year in the auction industry. To commemorate its anniversary, AIA organized a remarkable lineup of events, which include the groundbreaking of its new remanufacturing facility, recognition events for VIPs, Top Buyers, Consignors and Employees, and planting of 20,000 mangroves in Bataan.As the country's biggest and fastest growing trucks and equipment auctioneer, AIA has sold over 130,000 units and served about 58,000 satisfied customers in its 86 successful auctions since 1999. Today, it continues to deliver exceptional value by providing the highest quality trucks and equipment to various industries nationwide.AIA 20 Years BackAIA's story began in 1996 when its founders, who had prior auction experience in Japan, recognized the unique potential of establishing the very first proudly Filipino-Japanese owned auction company in the Philippines. At the time, the economy was unstable due to the Asian Financial Crisis. While others cast doubt on the viability of conducting auctions amid the bleak business climate, AIA’s founders took a great leap of faith and worked vigorously for the materialization of AIA, the premier and pioneer trucks and equipment auctioneer in the Philippines.Since then, auctions have increased popularity with AIA at the forefront. The company’s first auction in Subic Bay was held in 1999 with only around a thousand units available. 20 years later, AIA has grown exponentially and is now auctioning off over 12,000 items per year.AIA Breaks Ground on its New Remanufacturing FacilityTo kick-start AIA's 20th-anniversary celebrations, the company held the official groundbreaking of its remanufacturing facility in Subic Bay on March 15, 2019.The project marks another milestone for AIA as it will vastly transform the company's remanufacturing operations and quality control procedures. It will include a modernized and advanced assembly line incorporating AIA's No Cut, No Weld, No Bend Conversion Technology System using brand new and original left-hand drive parts. It will also be equipped with highly developed facilities for comprehensive and systematic quality control.With this major development, AIA will continue to fulfill its customers' evolving needs by offering only the best quality and widest selection of units at competitive and affordable prices.AIA Hosts VIP Appreciation Night for its Top BuyersAs a way of showing gratitude for their continued patronage, AIA brought together its VIP and top buyers on April 25 at Segara Villas in Subic Bay for an evening of celebration, special gifts, grand prizes, dinner and entertainment.The highlight of the night was the recognition and presentation of awards to AIA's top buyers. One of the awardees, Philipp Po of Leyte United Trading, said he has seen how AIA grew since he first joined its auctions in 2000."There are a lot of small and medium enterprises that have been established because of AIA. For my family, our trucking business started with AIA and has grown in consonance with our requirements, which we have also sourced from AIA. I believe that AIA will be here for the next generation and beyond, and I can attest their leadership in the auction industry," Po said.AIA COO Paulo Armamento shared that on top of these special events, AIA honors their customers and values their trust by providing them with high standard trucks and equipment."We are proud to say that AIA has not only become the largest and leading auctioneer in the country, we also became the benchmark that stimulated a safer trucking and transportation system by raising the standards for used trucks in the market," Armamento said.He concluded the event by reaffirming the company's commitment to work harder in delivering its promise of quality and reliability. AIA Consignors Tee Up for Golf and Awards DayTo honor its consignors who have been with the company throughout the years, AIA hosted a Golf and Awards Day on April 28 at Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club. Plaques of appreciation and tokens were given away during the awarding ceremony.AIA's consignors always go above and beyond in exporting the highest quality trucks and equipment directly from Japan. The company's premium range of products is meticulously screened so that only the best-of-class units are included in the auction lineup. Because of its consignors, AIA could showcase the most comprehensive array of light, medium, and heavy-duty units from the top brands such as Isuzu, Fuso, Hino, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Kobelco, and Tadano among many others.AIA holds 20th Anniversary Employee Recognition and Thanksgiving NightAIA's 20 years of leadership in the auction industry can be attributed to the men and women who constantly provide excellent service to AIA's customers. Thus, the company recognized its personnel at its Employee Recognition and Thanksgiving Night on May 15.A total of 78 employees who have worked with the company for ten, fifteen, and twenty years were given Meritorious Service and Loyalty awards. AIA plants 20,000 mangroves for its 20 fruitful yearsAs a way of giving back for AIA's 20 fruitful years in the auction industry, the company planted 20,000 mangrove propagules in a 10-hectare coast at Abucay, Bataan on May 17 in cooperation with DENR and the SBMA Ecology Center. 165 volunteers took part in the program.AIA initially started its biodiversity conservation and mangrove reforestation programs in 2015.AIA took on the responsibility of caring for a total of 15 hectares of protected sites and had since planted around 25,000 mangroves in various areas. “We specially picked Mangrove Planting as the core activity of our CSR programs because of its environmental significance. Mangroves are powerhouses when it comes to carbon storage.Studies indicate that mangroves can sequester four times more carbon than rainforests. This is so relevant to our industry for ways we all know. Unlike other one-day tree planting activities, ours is a continuing activity as we will see to it that the mangroves will survive and serve its purpose,” said AIA General Manager Atty. Ma. Leonora Tabladillo.Join AIA's 4-Day Trucks and Equipment Auction on June 19, 20, 21 and 22AIA will continue to celebrate its anniversary with more events and activities in store for its customers. Watch out for AIA's upcoming four-day auction on June 19, 20, 21 and 22! Inspect and select from a wide variety of over 2,300 trucks and equipment as it opens its gates on June 16, 17 and 18 and join AIA’s Auction Fair for more surprises.For more information about AIA’s auctions, contact them at (047)-252-3333 or visit www.aia-auction.com.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Weir Minerals enhances pump maintenance with adjustment technology
With a longstanding reputation for engineering expertise, Weir Minerals continually develops solutions and technology to better serve the mining industry. Recognising that throatbush wear rate has a major impact in the overall efficiency of slurry pumps, Weir Minerals has developed superior rotating and axial adjustment technology. In many applications, the pump’s throatbush is the component that has the shortest life compared to the impeller and liners, with considerable variability. Adjusting the gap between the throatbush and the impeller front shroud reduces hydraulic recirculation in the pump. This prevents localised wear on the throatbush, improves hydraulic efficiency and lowers the total ownership cost for the operator. To avoid impacting the plant’s production, these adjustments are often performed while the pump is operating. However, this can have safety implications for individuals working at the front of the pump unit. “Manually adjusting an alloy throatbush on a large pump requires several people and is labour intensive. It requires mechanical tools to adjust the four pusher bolts, one at a time, in order to reduce the gap between the throatbush and impeller. We wanted to find a safer and quicker way to extend the wear life of the pump with regular adjustments, which led us to development of this technology,” states Marcus Lane, Global Product Manager for Centrifugal Pumps for Weir Minerals.“Our automated throatbush adjustment solutions are available for pumps fitted with either rubber or alloy throatbushes on Warman slurry pumps used in the most arduous applications, and have been designed with our customers’ safety and pump operation in mind. By mechanising the adjustment procedure, personnel are removed from the line of fire, and the accuracy of axial movement is increased,” states Ron Bourgeois, Director of Slurry Pumping Technology Group for Weir Minerals. Weir Minerals’ automated adjustment systems speed up the process, allowing for more frequent adjustments with minimal effort. When maintaining an alloy throatbush, all four bolts are adjusted at the same time to ensure even adjustment and accurate positioning, improving the wear life of the throatbush. Rubber throatbush adjustment is considerably different because it poses the risk of hysteresis and premature failure of the throatbush. The goal is not to adjust to a minimum clearance but to maintain a standard gap to ensure that there is no contact between the impeller and throatbush, whilst periodically rotating the throatbush face to avoid acceleration of localised wear. “We developed an automated rotating solution which maintains an optimum gap between the throatbush and impeller front shroud for the particles to flow through without catching and tearing the rubber. The localised surface wear is usually near the discharge position, but by slowly rotating the throatbush, we even out the material loss over the entire face. Field results have been very positive, showing an average of 40% increase in wear life,” states Claudio Needham, Application Engineer for Weir Minerals. For the smaller Warman® slurry pumps used in medium to heavy duty applications, Weir Minerals offers a single point adjustment mechanism, providing both axial and rotational repositioning. This allows one individual to safely stand to the side of the pump while making the adjustment.Mining operators who have trialled Weir’s adjustment technology have reported improved wear life and safer, simpler maintenance through the process of regular adjustment. Weir Minerals has already taken its adjustment technology one step further by integrating it with their IIoT Synertrex® platform to offer predictive maintenance feedback. “This is made possible through machine learning. Over time Synertrex learns from past adjustments, recording how many times the throatbush was adjusted and the magnitude of adjustment each time. This trending data is collected and analysed by Synertrex to communicate future adjustment requirements. Through automating all adjustments, we can successfully communicate remaining useful life, and inform customers of optimum times to adjust the pump to increase efficiency and maximise wear life,” Marcus Lane concludes.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
The New Wirtgen 220 SM/220 SMi: Surface Miner for Raw Material Extraction and Routing Operations
With the introduction of the 220 SM/220 SMi surface miner, Wirtgen is unveiling a new machine designed especially for use in small and medium-sized mining operations as well as for routing work and infrastructure projects. Selective Extraction of Raw MaterialsWith a cutting width of 2.2 m and a cutting depth of up to 300 mm, the 220 SM/ 220 SMi can extract raw materials up to a uniaxial compressive strength of 50 MPa. The extracted material is deposited behind the machine in a windrow and then loaded onto trucks with wheel loaders. Selective extraction makes it possible to mine raw materials with a high level of purity. The use of surface miners also reduces the amount of equipment, maintenance, and time required compared to drilling and blasting or rip-and-stack mining. In addition, refraining from drilling and blasting makes it possible to efficiently mine materials close to industrial sites and other infrastructure like pipelines or high-voltage power lines, which ultimately results in the optimized exploitation of the deposit. Thanks to its compact dimensions and smooth, hydraulic, all-track steering, the smallest Wirtgen surface miner has a tight turning radius, which is particularly beneficial in small mining fields.Routing Operations and Infrastructure ProjectsThe 220 SM/220 SMi can also be used for routing work and infrastructure projects. Where excavators or other machinery reach their performance limits, the 708 kW powerhouse can cut even the hardest rock, reduce it to the desired maximum grain size, and create stable and even surfaces with extreme precision. The excellent maneuverability of the 220 SM/220 SMi also makes it ideal for routing narrow sections such as ramps.Highly Productive Cutting Drum UnitThe heart of the 220 SM/220 SMi is the optimized cutting drum unit. Specially designed for challenging windrow applications, the cutting drum turns the power delivered by the engine into maximum cutting power, and as a result, increased productivity. In this process, the high, narrow sides of the holder base ensure that material flows smoothly and energy consumption is kept to a minimum. This results in reduced wear and tear on the housing, holders, point-attack cutting tools, and scraper blade – even when mining hard, abrasive material. All of the 220 SM/220 SMi’s components are designed for extremely demanding open-cast mining applications. This also applies to the massive track units with strong dual-bar base plates for excellent advance, even in difficult conditions. LEVEL PRO PLUS Leveling SystemThe LEVEL PRO PLUS leveling system has a proven track record in road construction and mining and is intuitive and easy to operate. A flat or inclined formation level can be created with absolute precision thanks to side plate scanning and the cross-slope sensor. The machine is also ready to be equipped with GPS or laser control.Effective Safety Concept The safety of operating and maintenance personnel is the highest priority in open-cast mining In the ROPS/FOPS operator’s cabin, the operator is protected from external hazards. The cutting drum is easily and safely accessible from the rear through the scraper blade, which opens hydraulically. Pick changes are only carried out when the engine is off. Plenty of space to move, a hydraulic pick ejector, and a milling drum rotation device further simplify this process. Unintentionally switching on the miner can be prevented mechanically by locking the battery and starter isolator, which allows maintenance work to be carried out safely when the machine is shut down. The rear view camera offers excellent visibility for fast, safe maneuvering. When reversing, Reverse Assist offers the operator added support.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Community Safety a Priority in Rizal Quarry Group of Operators
“We need our people to lead and embrace change. It’s going to be about increased productivity, efficiency and being more sustainable and responsive in a social and environmental sense. It’s about embracing disruption, not fearing it.” - Angelita Lee; President, Eastern Rizal Miners Association (ERMA)To create a strong safety culture in medium to high risk professions such as quarrying and mining, behaviour- based transformation is necessary. On April 4 2019, the Eastern Rizal Miners Association (ERMA), together with 245 participants from different companies and 25 barangays within the province of Rizal attended an emergency awareness and preparedness seminar at the Ynares Event Center in Antipolo City, Rizal. In line with celebrating its 23rd Anniversary, Lee invited as one of its speakers, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) doctor, Teofredo ‘Ted’ T. Esguerra, or popularly known as ‘Everest Doc’. Esguerra is the medical member of the elite medical rescue team: The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) of the Philippine Coast Guard, who specializes on High Altitude Medicine, Wilderness EMS, and Air Medical Evacuation. Aside from being an accomplished flight surgeon, Esguerra was also the Expedition & Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team, hence the name “Everest Doc”.Quite the speaker for an audience composed of quarry operators and miners! Close to an advocacy, Esguerra drills down to his rapt audience the need to be prepared even before a calamity strikes. Esguerra says “disaster preparedness is a skill that shouldn’t just be taught in our workplaces. It should start from the home. For a country that is scourged with yearly calamities, it is crucial that we are equipped with life skills in the most literal sense of the word!” More than just an associationAside from its annual safety awareness and fire prevention seminars, Eastern Rizal Miners Association (ERMA) has spearheaded and continue to maintain the ‘Agro-Forestry Project’ (Reforestation) under former President Aquino’s National Greening Program, and established a school in partnership with TESDA, called the Rizal Quarry Academy, Inc., that offers technical skill courses suited for those engaged in the mining and quarrying industry wherein the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG) of Rizal Quarry operators are being used as its fund. Founded with the mission of promoting the optimum utilization of the country’s natural resources through sustainable development, the Eastern Rizal Miners Association (ERMA) is a group of quarry operators and miners who have coordinated efforts among mining associations, groups, individuals, and other mining entities. Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build program’ and a responsible quarrying industry Quarry products provide the basis for our transport network - roads, railways and airports - and for our water and sewerage systems. Without quarries, we would not have the stone, gravel and sand that go into any form of construction. Stone is an essential component, therefore quarries underpin a country's ongoing development and play a vital role in a nation's economy.It goes without saying that the Philippines needs an effective quarrying industry to supply us with vital materials necessary for our economy. Furthermore, there is a need for responsible and professional practitioners to operate quarries in a way that is safe, productive and good for our environment. The demand for aggregates will get colossal in the months to come, especially under the Duterte administration.Infrastructure, being one of the top priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administration with public spending on infrastructure projects targeted to reach 8-9 trillion pesos from 2017-2022, is an ambitious program that can be achieved if the players involved in the supply chain are: physically and mentally fit, equipped to perform their tasks in a safe environment, and are professionally trained. Groups such as the Eastern Rizal Miners Association is one of the organizations that try to do their part in helping make this vision a reality.This event was also attended by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Calabarzon representative Socorro Hernandez, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Officer Mr. Loel Malonzo and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Officer Nathaniel Ladia, with media partner Ka Felix Tambongco of DZRJ.ERMA’s member companies include Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc.,Solid Cement Corporation, LaFarge Holcim Aggregates, Inc., Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation, Teresa Marble Corporation, Hardrock Aggregates Corporation, Gozon Development Corporation, Monte Rock Corporation, A.C. Equities, Inc., Millex Construction & Development Corp., LDD Drilling and Blasting Management Consultancy, Inc., Orica Philippines, Nitro Asia Company, Inc., Delta Earthmoving Drilling and Blasting Management Group, B.M. Explosives, Inc. and Equirent, Inc. Current ERMA Officers are President - Angelita Lee, VP for Internal Affairs - Annie Dee, VP for External Affairs - Rafael Baldueza, Secretary - Vicente Pulvinar, Asst. Secretary - Christian Neis, Treasurer - Luisa Noche, Asst. Treasurer - Lolita Robles, Auditor - Ariel Yson, PRO - Gil Castro, Cherry White Tan, Mann Mercado, Raymond Gatlabayan, and Advisers - Veronica Lee, Louie Sarmiento, Ed Dacanay.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
From rig to office: Driving seamless connectivity in exploration and mining
Amidst a period of rapid technological change in the mining and exploration sector, Mining Equipment, Technology and services (METS) company IMDEX has established itself as a global technology leader within this space with its two leading brands AMC and REFLEX. As the amount of data being produced increases exponentially, mining companies must determine what information is relevant and how it can be best interpreted. To assist rather than overwhelm clients, IMDEX’s tools and software packages are fully integrated, to allow for rapid interpretation and analysis.“We want people to acquire as much information as they can while the drilling is happening, or immediately afterwards, whilst remembering the most important thing is that our tools can’t impact drilling productivity,” IMDEX General Manager Product Development, Michelle Carey, says.No product better reflects IMDEX’s pursuit of seamless integration than its cloud-based IMDEXHUB-IQ™ software.IMDEXHUB-IQ™ provides a complete software-as-a-service solution for the collection, storage and reporting of critical data from the field. The analytics within IMDEXHUB-IQ™ converts the significant amount of data collected by IMDEX’s instruments into relevant information, which can be accessed by geologists or exploration managers anywhere and at any time.“It is about accurate information, not just data collection,” she says. “There has always been a love/hate relationship between the geologist and the driller but IMDEXHUB-IQ™ is a tool that can help them communicate clearly with each other,” added Carey. “This paperless system eliminates human error and associated inefficiencies from the workflow. With access to survey and in-field rock property data in real-time, decisions can be made while the rig remains operational on site.”The ability to make decisions based on live data is becoming imperative to miners and explorers, a trend IMDEX has been keen to incorporate into IMDEXHUB-IQ™. The power of IMDEXHUB-IQ™ is growing as users extract ever more data from IMDEX’s wide-ranging suite of down-hole instruments and tools. The Company has released a series of new products in recent years with tools such as the REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™, REFLEX GYRO SPRINT-IQ™ and the REFLEX TN14 GYROCOMPASS™ already being widely adopted in the industry.The REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™ is a hand-held structural logging device, which simply runs along the orientation line on diamond core. Depth is recorded at all times and structural measurements taken at a press of a button.“The idea of taking days or even weeks to collect and interpret structural geology data just isn’t feasible anymore,” Carey says. “We wanted to provide a tool which could speed up the structural logging process and give structural geologists accurate data. We think it will encourage people to want to acquire more oriented drill core to get structural information as soon as possible.”Filminera Resources have been one of the early adopters of IMDEX’s technologies, utilising the REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™ at the Masbate Mine.Danny Tondoc, Exploration Manager at Filminera Resources commented, “The REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™ has been fantastic in improving our geotechnical logging. We have minimized the risk of human error as the REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™ has simplified and digitised our geotechnical logging workflow. It is simple to use, highly accurate and has allowed us to save many hours of logging core. The REFLEX IQ-LOGGER™ has greatly speeded up our geotech logging operation and increased our logging accuracy.” It is a similar situation with IMDEX’s fleet of down-hole navigation solutions. The Company has been at the forefront of downhole navigation tools for four decades and continues to develop instruments which provide accurate, reliable information in all ground conditions, including both magnetic and non-magnetic ground. Its latest product releases are driller-operable, eliminating the need for additional costs of third-party gyro services providers and technicians. “Down-hole surveying has been a very core part of the business historically,” Carey says. “We have developed new north seeking gyro technology [such as the REFLEX GYRO SPRINT-IQ™] as the industry is moving away from magnetic based technology and we want to say to clients whatever survey tool you need, we have the solution. And whatever tool you choose we wrap it in our solution.“Our downhole navigation solution has delivered demonstrable productivity benefits and increased accuracy, giving the geologist continual trace of holes and more accurate data which can then be moved through IMDEXHUB-IQ™,” Carey says. For rig alignment, the REFLEX TN14 GYROCOMPASS™ is a highly accurate driller-operable tool which minimises downtime and saves costs in surface and underground operations. The REFLEX TN14 GYROCOMPASS™ takes approximately 10 minutes to complete self-calibration and within minutes a drill rig can then be aligned to the correct azimuth and dip. Direct data communication with the secure, cloud-based IMDEXHUB-IQ™ allows efficient drill program management in near real time, from anywhere.A Senior Geologist at a major Philippines gold mining operation commented, “Setting up and orienting a drill rig underground has always been a challenge for us, with the need to set up survey stations on each drill platform and align the rig by eye. We need to turnover drill results as fast as possible, so reducing rig down time is key. “Ever since we started using the REFLEX TN14 GYROCOMPASS™, rig setup time has reduced considerably, and we have much more confidence in our rig orientation. Knowing the drill hole is going where we intend it to, right from the start gives us the assurance that we will be hitting our targets.”With the culmination of REFLEX’s easy-to-use, reliable and accurate tools communicating with IMDEXHUB-IQ™, the IMDEX solution is becoming an invaluable way to manage data between the office and the rig. Further integration with third-party software providers such as Seequent’s Central platform means the possibilities are limitless. “We think we know what geologists need and the uptake has been really good, but we recognise how long it takes technology to be fully embraced, not just taken up by the early adopters,” Michelle Carey says. “We are taking these solutions to companies as best practice and I think you’ll see much wider adoption in coming years.“For the last 4-5 years we have been building the plumbing, now we can put the platform on top.”With the principal goal to deliver easy-to-use, reliable and accurate solutions for drillers and mining companies, IMDEX offers the full spectrum of subsurface solutions covering the areas of down-hole navigation, drilling optimisation, driller operable geophysics, in-field geoanalysis and structural geology.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Nickel Asia Corporation - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC) turns over Fish Processing Center
Nickel Asia Corporation - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC) turns over the Fish Processing Center to Campandan Fisherfolks Association (CAMFISA) as part of its commitment to uplift the lives of the residents of its host communities. A total of 121 members of the CAMFISA members will benefit from the project turnover. All members of CAMFISA are residents of Sitio Campandan, Barangay Talavera, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte.The Fish Processing Center has two main activities in its building - the bottled fish production and dried fish production. Both of which are also provided by the livelihood aspect of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of NAC-HMC.CAMFISA members have also undergone various trainings from government agencies such as Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the support provided by NAC-HMC to develop and enhance their skills in dried and bottled fish productions.Apart from trainings with government agencies, basic management and bookkeeping trainings were also sponsored by NAC-HMC for CAMFISA members to help ensure the proper management and sustainability of the bottled and dried fish productions project.CAMFISA President Christopher Madraga is thankful for the project provided by NAC-HMC and also reminded fellow CAMFISA members that they should work together for the good of the project and their organization, saying that “Daku akong pasalamat sa SDMP NAC-HMC. Sa akoang mga kauban sa CAMFISA, kinahanglan kita magtambayayong, mga opisyales man o mga miyembro kinahanglan kita magkahiusa kita aron maglambo sad kita, dili kay mag iyaiya. Apil kita tanan.” He also added that, “Nindot kaau ang ilaha gihatag na pinaskohan sa ato, daku kaau na proyekto. Akoa lng hangyo sa tanang myembro na mgtinabangay gajud. Sa mga dili pa myembro, pwede na mo mgpa myembro kay mag operation na kita.Manghinaut ko na kini atong dried fish ug bottled fish musustener gajud hangtud sa hangtud para makatagamtam ang atong mga anak, atong mga apo kay alang man pud ini sa nagsunod ug dili lang kay alang kanato karon” (They have given us a wonderful Christmas present, which is a very big project. I ask all members that we should help one another. To those that are still not members, we are inviting you to join us as we will now start our operation. I hope that our dried and bottled fish projects will be sustainable and still be operational in the time not only of our sons and daughters but also in the time of our grandchildren as well. I hope this will happen as this project is also for our future and not only for us).Barangay Talavera Councilor Eulita C. Borja, who was also present during the turn-over ceremony, also shared the same sentiment of CAMFISA President Madraga, adding that, “You should take care of this project and do everything to help one another as it will be good for your future, and you should also be thankful of the projects provided by NAC-HMC and take care of all of it to sustain the projects.”
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Green Acres completes 2 DPWH projects in Butuan, Iloilo
Green Acres has already completed two projects this year from January to March. Both have been DPWH projects; Green Acres has been working closely with this government department to update their hydroseeding specifications to include modern vegetation establishment mulches, namely their core product ‘HydroStraw All In One (BFM)’. The first project of the year was located in Agusan, Del Norte, Butuan. The project involved the application of Green Acres hydroseeding products in conjunction with geo textile matting. The second project located in Iloilo involved combining multiple products for the challenging site. It was decided to use Green Acres; HydroStraw and Summit Seed hydroseeding products in combination with Takino filter erosion control matting which has geo textile component. Through the course of both projects Green Acres was able to showcase the usability and benefits of the hydroseeding process for these DPWH projects. Highlighting the fast establishment nature of the process as a whole. Many representatives of DPWH and other private companies were present and able to watch the process and see the fast and effective results first hand.The core products Green Acres focus’ on are: - HydroStraw All In One (BFM) – A vegetation establishment mulch which already incorporates the required: Tackifiers, Balanced NPK Fertilizers and Soil Amendments.- GAH Vegetator Mix – A seed mix consisting of three species of grass: Rye Grass, Bermuda and Paspalum. Providing both fast and long-term ground cover. Green Acres has also recently added silt socks to their product list. The silt sock product is a three (3) dimensional tubular run-off & erosion control device used for slope interruption. The product is applied prior to hydroseeding and is advised when hydroseeding sloped areas to mitigate potential wash out issues in areas with heavy rainfall. The slope interruption minimizes the risk of erosion and washouts by dissipating the energy of overland run off water, reducing its erosive potential. Green Acres also supplies high quality equipment for their customers, a range designed by HydroStraw LLC for markets like the Philippines with a focus on usability on projects with access issues. This being the case the range is focused on smaller units. Currently offering the following sizes:- 550 Gallon (2,000 L)- 900 Gallon (3,500 L)- 1,200 Gallon (4,500 L)All of the above products are supplied in conjunction with HydroStraw LLC USA and Summit Seed USA, who are in fact the U.S. partners of Green Acres Hydroseeding Inc. Both companies have been in their respective industries for 25+ years providing top quality products and supporting their partners where ever possible. Green Acres works on an honest, transparent system. Focused on finding the best solution for their customers individual needs. Doing so with various combinations of their products, services and highly skilled team members. Upon assessment of the project via site visit, their team will discuss and offer various solutions to individual clients. These solutions can loosely be categorised as one of the below systems:- Complete Solutions: This involves Green Acres supplying products and installing them on the behalf of their customers entirely. - Self-Installation: This involves Green Acres supplying products, equipment and setting up their customers with training. Supplying supervision for as long as necessary and then remotely supporting as needed. The company also offers other cost saving alternatives. Allowing their customers to use their own equipment and labour where possible or even providing their own mobilization. The goal being to support their customers in a way that best suits their needs. Green Acres hopes to modernize rehabilitation and vegetation establishment throughout the Philippines and South East Asia. Doing this through the modern hydroseeding technologies they’re now providing their customers throughout South East Asia. Through their flexible, cost effective services and top-quality products, Green Acres hopes to help their customers grow their own solutions.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Diwata organizes Avengers Endgame movie fundraising, a surprising hit
According to the New York Times, the Avengers: Endgame movie took in $1.2 billion worldwide, arriving as the No. 1 movie in at least 54 countries. It is likely to be the last film with the original - and beloved - Avengers cast. Plenty of people made sure they were there to see it especially on opening night! On April 24, 2019, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. organized and hosted the block screening of the anticipated action/adventure movie. The objective of the event was to raise funds for the projects of Diwata which includes, but not limited to, its pilot project - Tanging Tanglaw: Turning IP Grandmothers into Solar Engineers.Opening night was held at Greenbelt 1, Cinema 2. The block screening event was made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors: Sycip Gorres & Velayo (SGV), Cruz Marcelo & Tenafrancia (CMT), Fortun Narvasa & Salazar (FNS), Chittick Fire & Security Corporation, Quisumbing Torres, Antrak Philippines Transport Solutions, TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc., Uniglobal Industrial Trading, Sandvik Tamrock (Philippines), Inc., Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation, Masbate Gold Project’s Filminera Resources Corporation and Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corporation. Also in attendance were the following individuals - Diwata Chairwomen Ambassador Delia Domingo-Albert, Diwata Adviser Atty. Leo Dominguez, Diwata President Atty. Joan D. Adaci-Cattiling, and key representatives from the sponsors.Were you there with Diwata during opening night of #AvengersEndgame? How was your experience? For more information on Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc.:Email - email@example.comFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/DiwataResourceDevt/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/DiwataResrcDevtInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/diwataresourcedevt/ Website - http://www.diwata.org/
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Hino shows gesture of appreciation with movie night screenings
Hino Motors Philippines (HMP), the exclusive distributor of Hino trucks and buses in the country, recently expressed its appreciation to some of its customers and media partners for their invaluable support with a special block screening of selected movies.Hino has always been committed to offering “Total Support” to Filipinos nationwide with its lineup of premium quality trucks and buses. Thanks to the unending loyalty of customers and efforts of several media partners and publications, more people are now learning about Hino as the one-stop shop for all their truck and bus needs.“We are working relentlessly to provide premium quality trucks and buses as we envision a more connected community. We have always aimed to deliver goods and people safely and efficiently to their destination by reducing downtime and increasing maximum performance whatever it takes,” shares HMP President, Mr. Mitsuharu Tabata.Mr. Tabata delivers a short message to officially start the film showing, which is held at the Director’s Club cinema in S’ Maison, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Some of the block screening were attended by HMP executives including HMP AVP for Business and Product Planning, Mr. Tomohiro Oshita, HMP Sales Advisor, Mr. Kazuki Shimizu and Hino Motors, Ltd. Japan Assistant Manager for Asia and Oceania Division, Ms. Chihiro Hasegawa.Some of the films included in the Hino movie night are Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. More upcoming movies are in the pipeline for the monthly movie night especially prepared for the Hino customers. For a full cinematic experience, Hino branded blankets are given to attendees to complement the lazy boy seating in the theaters. Complimentary popcorns and snacks are also served to all movie goers.HMP has been engaged in the assembly and exclusive distribution of quality Hino trucks and buses in the Philippines for more than 40 years now. HMP addresses the transport needs of businesses ranging from small and medium enterprises to big corporations by providing safe, durable and reliable trucks and buses. It has always been Hino’s vision to deliver goods and people to where they need to go in the most efficient manner possible without the compromise in engine performance and environmental impact. Hino’s Euro 4 lineup is the company’s responsibility to contribute to environmental sustainability.About Hino Motors Philippines CorporationHino Motors Philippines Corporation (HMP) is primarily engaged in the exclusive assembly and distribution of quality Hino trucks and buses, distribution of genuine Hino spare parts, and the manufacture and distribution of other automotive-related products and services in the Philippines.Originally incorporated in March 1975 under the name Pilipinas Hino Inc. (PHI) before it changed its name to HMP in 2015, the company is a joint venture among Filipino investors, Hino Motors, Ltd., and the Marubeni Corporation of Japan.
Philippine Resources - May 29, 2019
Innovation in Mining
Patricia A. O. BunyeIn the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of attending presentations of the Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) before the mining industry. In March, at the 1st quarter mining lecture series which it co-hosted with the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, PCIEERD presented “A Roadmap for Value-Adding in the Mining Industry”. In April, at the 1st Philippine Natural Resources Development Forum, PCIEERD presented its Mining & Minerals Program, where it highlighted programs for value-adding of both metallic and non-metallic minerals, as well as programs for the rehabilitation of mined-out areas. In particular, PCIEERD discussed a technical and economic pre-feasibility study to determine the most ironmaking technology for the value adding of Philippine magnetite resources.PCIEERD is one of the three sectoral planning councils of the DOST and is mandated to serve as the central agency in the formulation of policies, plans, and programs, as well as in the implementation of strategies in the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors through the following science and technology programs: (1) support for research and development; (2) human resource and institution development; (3) science and technology (S&T) information dissemination and promotion; (4) support for technology transfer and commercialization; and (4) policy development and advocacy.It covers the following industries: electronics and semiconductors; mining and minerals; metals and engineering; and food processing. Under emerging technologies, it covers: materials science/nanotechnology; genomics/biotechnology; information and communications technology; space technology applications; photonics; artificial intelligence; data science and creative industries.PCIEERD’s mandate has always fascinated me as I see it as the intersection of two of my main practice areas: mining and intellectual property. Ordinarily, there would be very few instances when I would be able to apply both mining and intellectual property law to the same matter or assignment. Further, given that the local mining industry is often more focused on regulatory (and often existential) challenges, technological innovation is often not at the forefront of the operations of local mining companies. Nevertheless, as PCIEERRD’s recent presentations have shown, there are a number of opportunities, including to fund projects that have commercial potential and to push further research that will benefit the mining industry.In more advanced mining jurisdictions like Australia, for example, mining and engineering companies are using intellectual property rights to create new revenue streams, maintain a competitive edge, boost their assets and secure new finance. For these companies, intellectual property is not just about preventing others from copying their products, but also leveraging or exploiting intellectual property to create new revenue streams. We typically think of intellectual property in terms of trademarks or protecting names or brands, or literary or artistic works which are copyrightable. Certainly, industry leaders should safeguard their ability to assert and protect their fairly won competitive edge.Patent protection for their innovations, whether it be a new type of machine, a new way of doing something, or a new chemical composition, should also be considered. While much of the research and development may be occurring outside the Philippines, it is inevitable that certain improvements are made locally owing to our unique conditions and the innate ingenuity of Pinoys. The mining, energy, and engineering sectors are highly competitive so even small improvements in efficiency or reliability can yield significant returns. Whether the improvements result in a greater output or time efficiency, or simply improve health and safety, it is worth considering protecting the intellectual property underlying those improvements. Codelco, Chile’s state owned mining company, is an example of a mining company with a well-developed IP strategy, which involves transferring and adapting existing technologies and developing new ones to address the challenges confronting each of the company’s eight mining and processing operations (Andina, Chuquicamata, El Teniente, Gabriela Mistral, Ministro Hales, Radomiro Tomic, Salvador and Ventanas). In recent years, Codelco has been focusing on developing smart mining technologies for use at every stage of the production process, from extraction at the mine site to the production of cathodes used in a wide variety of electrical and electronic goods and systems. These technologies are helping Codelco to improve productivity and operational efficiency and to make significant cost savings. Tele-robotic mining, for example, using remote-controlled robotic machinery to extract minerals, is reducing the risks for miners. The company’s intellectual property strategy is applied in three main areas: (1) intellectual property plays a role in the development of prototype mining equipment. Codelco establishes agreements with commercial suppliers to build prototypes which, once validated, are incorporated into its production processes. Within the framework of these agreements, Codelco transfers its intellectual property to its commercial partner(s) to optimize product development.(2) Codelco protects the technologies that it develops with patents. It has filed at least 250 patent applications, of which 134 have been granted in Chile and 21 in other countries. The company is among the top Chilean mining companies in its use of the patent system. Codelco’s first patent, granted in 1978, was for the Teniente Converter, an energy-efficient furnace that is capable of melting and converting copper concentrate. It also holds patents on many mining processes, including for bioleaching, where micro-organisms are used for low-cost and efficient extraction of copper from low-grade sulfide minerals.(3) Intellectual property plays an important role in the context of the network of alliances Codelco is building with different companies, research centers and universities to develop innovative, high-performance solutions in line with its strategic goals. While Codelco has led the way, studies conducted by firms such as Deloitte on innovation in the mining industry tend to show that, in most other companies, the innovation that is occurring remains focused on achieving short-term returns rather than creating long-term sustainable benefits. Many mining companies are still struggling to drive organization-wide change by setting a clear vision for, or adopting a culture of, innovation. Most initiatives remain funded by operating or capital budgets, leaving innovation to be pursued rather haphazardly, rather than as an integral part of the employees’ day-to-day jobs. Nevertheless, there are bright spots. Africa is one of the regions trying to lead the way as a hub for mining technology by building an ecosystem that includes not just the mining companies, but also the government, universities, incubators, IT companies and community leaders to provide an environment that supports and encourages collaboration and the development of new mining technologies and networks. As PCIEERD and the Chamber of Mines regularly bring together experts from different disciplines through the “Digging Deeper” series, it is hoped that their ongoing interaction on science and policy-related issues affecting the industry bears similar fruit.Patricia A. O. Bunye is a Senior Partner at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia where she heads its Mining & Natural Resources Department and Energy practice group. She is also an intellectual property lawyer and has served as President of the Licensing Executives Society International (www.lesi.org), the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to hold this position.
Philippine Resources - May 29, 2019
Mining and Sexual Identity - Is Our Industry Ready for Gay Workers?
By Fernando “Ronnie” S. Penarroyo The Philippines prides itself as a gay-friendly nation where consensual homosexual relations, homosexuality, and transgenderism are not illegal. The country’s legislative history reached a milestone when Geraldine Roman from Bataan was elected as the first transwoman member of Congress. Meanwhile, seventy-three countries still criminalize consensual same sex relationships while only a few legally recognize the identity of transpeople and protect the rights of intersex people. The mining industry in the Philippines has been traditionally dominated by men with its macho culture and homophobic tendencies. In the past, even women were banned from entering underground mines or working in offshore drilling rigs. I remember my days in the university when geology majors were considered campus “barakos” (studs) and effeminate students were often silently scorned if not treated as outcasts. Since we spent a lot of our academic time doing research in the field, who would want to share a tent or bunk with someone whose sexual orientation was rather ambiguous? Those with gender identity issues were thus discouraged to work in the mine sites and if there were a few, they were prevented from coming out because the industry’s culture discouraged complainants from speaking out as they may be subjected to further abuse by co-workers. For many employees, coming out may be a very affirming experience, but for those working in the mining industry, it can be really difficult.On numerous occasions when I have been invited as resource speaker before geology and mining engineering majors in various universities all over the country, I noticed through the years that the number of students who belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (“LGBTI” in this article but collectively referred to as “LGBTQIAP+”) community is increasing. I often wonder if there will be a place for them in the resources industry or will they end up working in call centers and customer services. When these post-millennials join the resources industry workforce, will they have enough legal protection against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity?Background on LGBTI RightsSignificant progress in LGBTI rights have been achieved on account of legal reforms and transformation in social attitudes despite setbacks and reversals in some countries which opted to adhere to strict religious fundamentalism. In 2000, the United Nations launched the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative, to encourage companies to respect universal principles and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011, are the global standards for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. The UN Guiding Principles do not constitute an international instrument that creates legal obligations for companies; the corporate responsibility to respect is a norm of expected conduct based on existing international law and conventions.In September 2017, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a guide on tackling discrimination against LGBTI as set out in “Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People: Standard of Conduct for Business.” Under the guide, companies have a responsibility to respect international human rights standards including the rights of LGBTI people, regardless of the company size, structure, sector, or location.The standards offer practical guidance to companies on how to respect and support the rights of LGBTI people in the workplace, marketplace and community. The standards were developed in partnership with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, and built on the outcome of a series of regional consultations held in 2016 and 2017 in Mumbai, New York, Kampala and Brussels. They were designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices, and establishing new ones to respect and promote the human rights of LGBTI people. They were also intended to support rights-affirming interactions between companies and a wide range of stakeholders from staff to customers, suppliers, shareholders, communities, governments, lawmakers, and trade unions.The Five StandardsAt All Times1 RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS. All businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights — including the rights of LGBTI people — in their operations and business relationships.In the Workplace2 ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION. Employees and other people with whom the business engages are entitled to freedom from discrimination. Businesses should ensure that there is no discrimination in their recruitment, employment, working conditions, benefits, respect for privacy, or treatment of harassment.3 PROVIDE SUPPORT. Businesses are expected to provide a positive, affirmative environment within their organization so that LGBTI employees can work with dignity and without stigma. This standard requires businesses to go beyond equal benefits and take steps to ensure inclusion, including addressing the specific workplace needs of LGBTI people.In the Marketplace4 PREVENT OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. Businesses should ensure that they do not discriminate against LGBTI suppliers or distributors, or against LGBTI customers in accessing the company’s products and/or services. In their business relationships, businesses should also ensure that business partners do not discriminate.In the Community5 ACT IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE. Businesses are encouraged to use their leverage to contribute to stopping human rights abuses in the countries in which they operate. In doing so, they should consult closely with local communities and organizations to identify what constructive approaches businesses can take in contexts where legal frameworks and existing practices violate the human rights of LGBTI people. Such steps can include public advocacy, collective action, social dialogue, financial, and in-kind support for organizations advancing LGBTI rights and challenging the validity or implementation of abusive government actions. LGBTI Rights in the PhilippinesArticle II Section 11 of the Constitution declares an existing state policy to value the dignity of every human person and to guarantee full respect for human rights. However, there is no comprehensive anti-discrimination law to date or, code of ethics or legitimate guidelines to protect the rights of LGBTI persons though there are occasional ordinances and policies at the local level.While the Labor Code of the Philippines (1974) mandates that it is the duty of the State to afford “protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed and regulate the relations between workers and employers” (Article 3) and declares it to be “unlawful for any employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on account of her sex,” (Article 135), there is no clear reference to LGBTI rights.Philippine laws define sex as being biologically male or female and the Supreme Court, in the absence of contrary legal definitions, follows the construction of sex as such. Republic Act (“RA”) No. 9048, “The Clerical Error Law of 2001”, as amended by RA 10172, “An Act Further Authorizing the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to Correct Clerical or Typographical Errors in the Day and Month in the Date of Birth or Sex of a Person Appearing in the Civil Registrar Without Need of a Judicial Order”, prohibits transsexual persons to change their first name and sex on their birth certificates, and strictly provides that:No petition for correction of erroneous entry concerning the sex of a person shall be entertained ………… except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.In Republic vs. Cagandahan (G.R. No. 166676, 12 September 2008), the Supreme Court however decided in favor of changing the name and sex of an intersex person on the claims that he had Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, which caused him to manifest female biological characteristics. The SC held that:Ultimately, we are of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones (androgen) there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.The Court nevertheless denied transgender persons from legally changing their name and sex by virtue of RA 9048 Section 2 where “no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner”, when it ruled that “a change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial discretion, to be exercised in the light of the reasons adduced and the consequences that will follow.”Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (“SOGIE”) Equality BillAn anti-discrimination bill is currently being deliberated in Congress to address LGBTI rights. The SOGIE Equality Bill is intended to prevent various economic and public accommodation-related acts of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. The current versions of the bill are sponsored by Kaka Bag-ao, Geraldine Roman, and Tom Villarin in the House of Representatives, and Risa Hontiveros in the Senate. The version in the House of Representative (H.B. 4982) passed its final reading on 20 September 2017. On the other hand, the the Senate version (S.B.N. 1271) is still under interpolation with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Manny Pacquiao and Joel Villanueva, opposing it on religious grounds.The current draft includes, among others, seven (7) prohibited acts that refer to discriminative processes against the LGBTI in employment or in the labor market: 1. inclusion of SOGIE, or its disclosure in the criteria for hiring, promotion, transfer, designation, re-assignment, dismissal, performance review, training, incentives, benefits or allowances, privileges, and other terms or conditions of employment; 2. evoking or refusing the accreditation, recognition, or registration to organize in the workplace; 3. publishing information that intends to “out” or reveal the SOGIE of a person without their consent; 4. engaging in public speech that is meant to shame, insult, or normalize discrimination against LGBTIs which intimidates them; 5. subjecting persons or groups of persons to harassment in the form of unwanted conduct, or patterns of conduct, or series of acts which annoys, bullies, demeans, offends, threatens, intimidates, or creates a distressing environment for the LGBTI which is motivated by the offended party’s SOGIE, which may manifest in the form of assault, stalking, derogatory comments, lewd propositions, and may be conducted in various mediums, including but not limited to visual representation, broadcast communication, communication through mail or any telecommunication device, or through the internet; 6. subjecting any person to gender profiling, degrading investigatory searches including recording or analyzing a person to make a generalization about their SOGIE; and 7. subjecting a person to analogous acts that impairs their enjoyment, or recognition of their rights and freedoms. However, the bill has been criticized for not clearly stating how it plans to address issues regarding benefits that heterosexual people enjoy, as well as the issue of being called for hazardous tasks, or tasks beyond official office hours. The bill also fails to address or recognize the structures of heteronormativity that assumes that the LGBTI, unlike heterosexual employees, do not have families, or partners that equally deserve their time and attention. The bill does not clearly encourage public or private organizations to allot benefits that the LGBTI may also want to claim such as parental leaves for those who have legally, or taken responsibility for other younger relatives and act as their parents, or domestic partner benefits such as insurance, and the transfer of benefits of an employee upon death to their partners. The sponsors mentioned that the bill will not cover same-sex marriage. However, social protection is linked to marriage equality and civil partnerships, because it is through legally recognizing same-sex relationships that LGBTI workers and their partners and children become entitled to medical care, pensions, adoption rights, and parental leave and child benefits on the same terms as heterosexual couples. The bill is also silent on the the rights of the children of LGBTI persons as these children continue to experience discrimination, social stigmatization, and a general climate of intolerance and negative public attitudes. In addition, access to health services provided through workplaces also presents an obstacle for many LBGTI workers as, due to stigma, many refrain from accessing needed and critical prevention, treatment and support services. The difficulty also lies in how discriminated workers access legal redress as the process may entail costs in the form of economic loss from the prolonged legal procedure. Even where legal protection is in place, many LGBTI workers still face considerable discrimination and harassment, leading many to conceal their sexual orientation or transfer to industries with a more tolerant working environment. Nonetheless, the passing of anti-discrimination legislation against LGBTI people in the workplace can influence the public toward greater tolerance, and support from both workers’ and employers’ organizations will lead to an effective implementation of the law. LGBTI in Philippine Labor MarketIn 2014 the UNDP and USAID came out with a report, “Being LGBT in Asia: The Philippines Country Report, A Participatory Review and Analysis of the Legal and Social Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Persons and Civil Society”, which contained a compilation and presentation of studies and documents from the Philippine National LGBTI Community dialogue held in Manila on June 2013. The report reviewed the legal and social environment that the LGBTIs face, which was discussed by fifty (50) LGBTI organizations from around the country regarding eight themes which included education, health, employment, family affairs, community, religion, media, and politics. The report noted that because of the absence of any statistics, the extent of employment related-SOGIE discrimination was hidden, and government agencies in charge of issues regarding SOGIE discrimination did not report on LGBTI discrimination. The report also mentioned how discrimination in the labor market can occur during the process of hiring, assigning wages, granting promotions and benefits, as well as with regard to retention. Dismissals also occurred based on a person’s SOGIE as companies were unwilling to destroy their reputation by hiring LGBTIs who act and present themselves according to their SOGIE.Participants of the dialogue also reported how LGBTIs were hired in order to be abused or taken advantage of because of their unable to legally marry which leads to less benefits costs for the company in the absence of maternity or paternity leaves. LGBTI employees were also forced to take graveyard shifts or overtime work as they have no families to go home to, as well as assigning stereotypical jobs because of their gender identity. Sexual harassment on the workplace was another issue that the LGBTIs face because of their SOGIE. To deal with issues with regards to LGBTI employment, the participants of the dialogue created a list of recommendations as follows: (1) pushing for legislation focus in on LGBTI people in the workplace; (2) auditing existing employment related policies in relation to LGBTI issues; (3) working with existing government projects to include LGBTI people such as SOGIE inclusion in poverty reduction strategies; (4) provide for psychosocial and paralegal support to the LGBTI in the workplace; (5) strengthening LGBTIs by forming an LGBTI group, or labor union; and (6) pushing for SOGIE sensitivity trainings.In another study done by Patricia Angela Luzano Enriquez, “How Discrimination Happens - Being LGBT and the Experience of Discrimination in Access to Employment, and the Labour Market in the Philippines” (2017), the research paper noted that twenty-five percent (25%) of respondents have experienced harassment from their employers or superior officers, thirty-three percent (33%) have experienced harassment from co-workers, and sixty percent (60%) have been the subject of slurs and jokes in the workplace.Prior to the publication of Enriquez’s paper, research on SOGIE-based discrimination and related incidents in the work setting were usually qualitative in the form of case studies and in-depth interviews compiled by advocacy and human rights organizations, which monitored and documented these incidents while providing legal aid, counseling, and other services to victims. The first ever “Philippine Corporate SOGIE Diversity and Inclusiveness (CSDI) Index”, a study conducted by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce and research firm Cogencia Consulting, Inc., and supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Manila, surveyed one hundred (100) companies on their anti-discrimination and equal opportunity employment policies. The study revealed that only seventeen percent (17%) of the respondents — all foreign headquartered companies in the business process outsourcing sector — have anti-discrimination policies explicitly referencing measures to counteract gender discrimination. These policies refer to explicitly prohibiting specific actions such as misgendering, “outing” (publicizing an employee’s SOGIE without their consent), and making use of slurs against LGBTQIAP+ employees. Moreover, only ten (10) out of the seventeen (17) companies have a structure for tracking SOGIE inclusiveness, and only six have actually conducted educational discussions or SOGIE trainings. Eleven (11) out of the seventeen (17) companies explicitly use the terms “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” in their anti-discrimination policies, and only three (3) companies have policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. More than half of the companies surveyed have no plans of creating any SOGIE-based anti-discrimination policies.Definition of TermsSOGIE – stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression. Sexual orientation is the direction of emotional, sexual attraction, or conduct toward people of the same sex (homosexual orientation) or towards people of both sexes (bisexual orientation), or towards people of the opposite sex (heterosexual orientation), or to the absence of sexual attraction (asexual orientation). Gender Identity, on the other hand, refers to the personal sense of identity as characterized, among others, by lifestyle, manner of clothing, inclinations, and behavior in relation to masculine or feminine conventions. Gender expression are the various ways a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, communication or speech pattern, or body characteristics.LGBTQIAP+ – the collective of persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and the plus (+) stands to incorporate other marginalized and minority sexuality/gender identities.Heteronormativity – of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality.Misgendering – referring to someone (especially a transgender person) using a word, usually a pronoun or form of address that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.Pinkwashing – using a variety of marketing and political strategies to promote brands or products by appealing to LGBTQIAP+-friendliness, in order to be perceived as progressive, modern and tolerant.SOGIE-based Discrimination – refers to any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference which is based on any ground such as sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, access to, enjoyment, or exercise by all persons on an equal footing of all rights and freedoms.Equal employment opportunity – policies that help ensure that people are hired, retained and promoted on the basis of their ability to perform a job, rather than discriminated against on the basis of factors such as race, color, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, marital status, or mental or physical disability.LGBTI in the Mining Industry The Human Rights Campaign (“HCR”) annually compiles and updates its Corporate Equality Index (“CEI”), a list of companies meeting criteria identifying them as LGBTI-inclusive. The index ranks companies based on a number of indicators, such as access to benefits for same-sex partners, transgender inclusive health insurance, existence of resource groups and diversity councils, and positive external relationships with the LGBTI community, among others. The coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” reflects true inclusion of the transgender workforce, from non-discrimination protections, to inclusive benefits and diversity practices, to respectful gender transition guidelines, allowing employees to self-identity based on gender identity, and engaging the broader transgender community. Previous CEI showed that the mining industry lagged behind other male-dominated industries, such as oil and gas, aerospace and defense, and automotive. It even lagged professional sports, if measured by the media coverage of well-known athletes announcing themselves as gay or lesbian. In the 2018 CEI, Alcoa Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. qualified under Mining and Metals, while Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, and Shell Oil Co. qualified under Oil and Gas.The mining and metals industry is one of the worst in terms of engagement on LGBTI issues, according to Deena Fidas, Director of the Workplace Equality Program at HRC. One of the reasons the industry is doing so poorly is attributed to mining companies’ lack of interaction with the public.In Australia, LGBTI mineworkers participating in a study felt that because of their sexual orientation and gender identity they couldn’t relate to their heterosexual counterparts at the workplace. Fear of discrimination and prejudice was a common issue among the sampled group of participants with most claiming to have experienced or witnessed acts of racism, discrimination and prejudice either directly at them or towards others like them, thus reducing their desire to socialize with other employees while on-site. One individual in particular, found that many of the younger and newer LGBTI employees entering into fly-in, fly-out employment struggle to adjust to the attitude and behavior exhibited by those around them and as a result end up leaving. This was commonly attributed to the work environment which fostered a group mentality that lead to most LGBTI participating in the study to perceive the mining industry as being backwards and homophobic. People from LGBTI backgrounds were in a regular state of fear each day due to discrimination thus, socialization was kept at a minimal and mainly professional level to avoid confrontation and discrimination. The Business Case for Recognizing LGBTI RightsTo combat stereotypes and prejudices against LGBTI workers, many forward-thinking workplaces are implementing diversity policies, usually as part of a framework to promote equality and diversity. While primarily a matter of workers’ rights, such an approach also makes business sense. This awareness makes sense from a business perspective because laws are constantly changing, which puts companies at risk of costly legal liabilities, as in the case of a gay coal miner who sued and entered into a settlement with Spartan Mining Co., a subsidiary of Massey Energy Co., alleging the company’s management didn’t protect him from abusive co-workers.Mining companies are also likely to see their talent pools shrink the longer they ignore LGBTI issues. Prejudice on account of sexual orientation and gender identity, can impede the recruitment or promotion of the best candidate for the job. When employers pass over talented individuals based on characteristics with no bearing or relevance for the job, such as their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, businesses are left with a sub-optimal workforce, diminishing their ability to deliver. Discrimination forces otherwise qualified LGBTI employees to quit their jobs, creating unnecessary turnover-related costs and loss of talent. Discrimination and prejudice in the workplace impair productivity, contribute to absenteeism, and undercut motivation, entrepreneurship, and company loyalty. LGBTI people are unlikely to apply for jobs in a hostile industry, and so are their parents, friends and allies.In fact, the LGBTI community was a useful ally of the mining industry during the United Kingdom Miners’ Strike in 1984, which was known as one of the bitterest industrial disputes in UK history. To support the miners, many activist groups were formed to aid in the strike efforts, one of which was the “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners”, a London-based activist group who formed a relationship with the mining community in Wales’ Dulais Valley.Moreover, a diverse workforce brings with it different ideas and ways of doing things that can propel innovation and appeal to additional markets. An analysis by the Harvard Business Review (2014) also showed that companies with a high level of diversity perform better. Employees at more diverse companies in the US were forty-five percent (45%) more likely to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and seventy percent (70%) more likely to report that the firm had entered a new market. A Credit Suisse study (2014) also showed that companies that embraced LBGTI employees outperformed in average return on equity, cash flow return on investment, and an increase in profit.Discrimination, including against LGBTI people, affects productivity and undermines social and economic development, with negative consequences for both companies and communities. It also leads to loss of market share. In a study done by the Harvard Business Review (2016), diversity and inclusion is associated with business success.The CEI shows that the majority of Fortune 500 companies offer extensive protections and equal benefits for LGBTI employees. It’s no surprise that many CEI top-scoring businesses are also top-performing businesses. They know that creating inclusive workplaces and communities where their employees can thrive is an investment in their own competitive edge. That’s why LGBTI-inclusive workplace policies are becoming the norm in the U.S., and having an impact around the globe. Today, more than ninety percent (90%) of CEI-rated businesses have embraced both sexual orientation and gender identity employment protections for their U.S. and global operations.ConclusionLabor rights recognition of LGBTI persons is now becoming the norm as many countries are now adopting anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is also clear that countries with strong laws and policies promoting equality for LGBTI workers, and companies that implement such laws and policies fare better, which provide a business and economic case for inclusion and diversity. An inclusive, diverse, and non-discriminatory industry would not be hard put to find allies from the LGBTI community especially for a much-maligned and misunderstood sector like mining.Fernando “Ronnie” S. Penarroyo specializes in Energy and Resources Law, Project Finance and Business Development. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for any matters or inquiries in relation to the Philippine resources industry. Feel free to follow Atty. Penarroyo on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/fernando-s-penarroyo-2b8a7312/)References:Alicias, Maria Dolores, The Socially-Excluded Groups in the Philippines: A Context Analysis for the Voice Program, January 2017, https://knowledge.hivos.org/sites/default/files/voice-phl-baseline-report-2017_0.pdfBahtic, Mirsad, “FIFO Employment and its Impact on LGBT FIFO Workers and Partners”, Curtin University, http://www.aomevents.com/media/files/AIRAANZ%2016/55.pdfBeing LGBT in Asia: The Philippines Country Report, A Participatory Review and Analysis of the Legal and Social Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Persons and Civil Society, USAID UNDP, 2014, https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1861/2014%20UNDP-USAID%20Philippines%20LGBT%20Country%20Report%20-%20FINAL.pdfBerger, Eric and Doillet, Nicole, “What’s the effect of pro- LGBT policies on stock Price?”, Harvard Business Review, July 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/07/whats-the-effect-ofpro-lgbt-policies-on-stock-price.Corporate Equality Index 2019: Rating Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equality, Human Rights Campaign, https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/CEI-2019-FullReport.pdf?_ga=2.182396199.1824982299.1557286736-994957363.1553496100Enriquez, Patricia Angela Luzano, “How Discrimination Happens Being LGBT and the Experience of Discrimination in Access to Employment, and the Labour Market in the Philippines”, Social Policy for Development, 15 December 2017, Retrieved from the Erasmus University Thesis Repository website: https://thesis.eur.nl/pub/41669/Enriquez-Patricia-Angela-Luzano-.pdf Gaynor, Carla Elizabeth, “Affect, Coalitional Politics, and Pride: Imagining Activism through Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and the United Kingdom Miners’ Strike of 1984-5”, Syracuse University, January 2017, https://surface.syr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1124&context=thesisILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, International Labor Organization, 10 June 2008, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---cabinet/documents/genericdocument/wcms_371208.pdf.Kwentong Bebot: Lived Experiences of Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender Women in the Philippines, Rainbow Rights Project, https://www.outrightinternational.org/sites/default/files/PhilippinesCC.pdfPhilippine Corporate SOGIE Diversity & Inclusiveness Index 2018, A project of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce with research undertaken by Cogencia Consulting Inc., Supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, http://lgbtph.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LGBTChamber-CSDIindex2018.pdfRenders, Ashley, “Homophobic Culture Permeates Mining Industry”, The Corporate Knights, 06 February 2015, https://www.corporateknights.com/channels/mining/lgbt-employees-14232150/Rock, David and Grant, Heidi, “Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter,” Harvard Business Review, November 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-diverse-teams-are-smarter.Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People: Standards of Conduct for Business, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, September 2017, https://www.unfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/UN-Standards-of-Conduct.pdf“United Nations Reports,” The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, accessed August 2, 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Discrimination/Pages/LGBTUNReports.aspx.Vara, Vauhini, “It’s Still Hard to Come Out at Work”, The New Yorker, 31 October 2014, https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/still-hard-come-work
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Philippine Resources - May 29, 2019
Mine-Mouth power plant development to lower electricity cost in the Philippines
By: Guillermo R. Balce, Arnulfo A. Robles, Ismael U. Ocampo and Mars T. Ocampo ABSTRACT The development of coal-fired mine-mouth power plants in the Philippines is one measure that can address the country’s need for electricity cost reduction, energy supply security and a shift from coal to renewable energy. The use of mine-mouth power plants as a low-cost electricity development option in the USA, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and Mongolia are cited as examples that can guide the Philippines. A review of coal resources in the country indicates 10 potential sites for mine-mouth power plants distributed in proximity to the electricity grid and HVDC substations. The estimated cost of generating electricity from these sites ranges from Php2.61/kwh to Php4.45/kwh, which is significantly lower than the average generation cost of Php5.425 in 2014. Because mine-mouth power plants use indigenous coal resources, they can reduce the Philippines’ exposure to coal price volatility and protect the country from coal supply disruption due to commercial and political risks. Coal-fired mine-mouth power plants utilizing circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) technology and low calorific value lignite can be converted to biomass-fired plants, which can use agricultural waste or wood chips sourced from systematic management of forest areas near plant sites. Thus, coal-fired mine-mouth power development is a potential measure in the country’s quest to shift from coal to renewable energy. We therefore recommend that coal-fired mine-mouth power plants be given an incentive of priority dispatch similar to renewable energy plants. Benefits to host communities should be increased from 0.01 to 0.02 PhP/kWh (DOE 1-94) to encourage hosting of coal-biomass-fired mine-mouth power plants. COC holders and power plant investors should be encouraged to operate commercial biomass farms or industrial forest management areas in the vicinity of the plants to provide continuous fuel supply. The increment of 0.01 PhP/kWh may be shared among the barangays, municipalities and provinces to encourage the LGUs to host such power plants. Inclusive economic growth is further assured by organizing the nearby communities into forest management cooperatives to plant and grow appropriate fast-growing tree species to supply the wood chip requirements of the coal-biomass-fired power plant. For instance, planting rubber trees that would provide rubber sap to a nearby rubber factory after 5 years would be ideal. This would provide immediate income after only 5 years up to 10 years when the rubber trees would be fully mature for wood chipping as they no longer produce rubber sap. By planting specific areas in an organized manner, a continuous year-round supply of biomass wood chips is assured for the power plant, thereby extending the life of the mine-mouth coal reserves. Moreover, the biomass tree farm would ensure ecological balance within the surface/strip mine area. Once the coal reserves are exhausted or deemed expensive to mine, the biomass tree farm would ensure continued power plant operation, provide steady income to local communities and assure the supply of rubber sap to a nearby raw rubber factory. INTRODUCTION A mine-mouth power plant is a coal-fired electricity generating plant built near its source of coal, a coal mine. Its location is primarily dictated by water availability, as a 100-MW plant requires about 5 million liters of water per day for cooling and steam production. A run-of-river source with a discharge of 60 liters per second (0.06 cu. m. per sec.) is sufficient. However, water flow must be continuous all year round and ponding is necessary to store and conserve water and prevent warm water from the plant to merge with the cool water of the natural drainage system. The most widely used coal-fired generating technologies are CFBC and pulverized coal (PC). Table 1 shows the comparative parameters of the different CFBC and PC options. Before 1990, PC technology used turbine generating steam at a subcritical pressure of 16.5 mega pascal (MPa) and a temperature of 540°C. By 1990 the design had improved to a supercritical pressure of ≥ 22.1 MPa and temperatures of 540-560°C. In 1995-2000, this had been upgraded to pressures of 27.5-30 MPa and temperatures of 560-600°C. After 2000, the ultra-supercritical conditions of ≥ 30 MPa and ≥600°C became the most favored design for PC power plants. For mine-mouth power plants that use low-heating value lignite, the favored technology is the supercritical CFBC. MINE MOUTH AS LOW-COST ELECTRICITY DEVELOPMENT OPTION North America Advances in long-range electricity transmission in the 1990s enabled the construction of many mine-mouth power plants in the USA and Western Canada. These plants did not need long-distance rail transport and shipping, which reduced fuel costs by at least 50% and substantially reduced the cost of producing electricity. In 1995, Wyoming coal sent to Georgia, USA was sold for USD 29 per ton while it sold for only USD 13 per ton in Wyoming. The cost of converting coal to electricity in a mine-mouth power plant in Gillete, Wyoming was just a little over one US cent per Kwh. Thailand Located in the mountains of Lampang, Thailand, the Mae Moh Power Plant is Southeast Asia’s first mine-mouth power plant. It was built in four phases from 1978 to 1996 by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The power plant at present consists of 10 units with a total installed capacity of 2,400 MW, accounting for 12% of Thailand’s installed capacity and generating approximately 18,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. The nearby Mae Moh Coal Mine supplies 40,000 tons of lignite per day or approximately 16 million tons per year from a coal resource of approximately 864 million tons. The cost of power production is 60 satang per Kwh (1.6 US cent per Kwh). In March 2015 EGAT awarded Alstom Power Systems and Marubeni Corporation an EPC contract for the construction of a new unit with an installed capacity of 600 MW to replace the plant’s existing Units 4 to 7. The new unit is programmed to be commissioned in 2018 and will use the ultra-supercritical boiler and steam turbine technology. Indonesia The Indonesian government aims to make mine-mouth power plants as the main source of its 35,000-MW programmed additional capacity by 2019. To encourage coal mine license holders and operators to develop vast but inaccessible lignite deposits for mine-mouth power plants, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources issued regulations (MEMR 10/14 and MEMR 9/16) providing for incentive pricing of coal from mines to mine-mouth power plants with assured margins of 15%-25% over production cost. The resulting minimum regulated price of coal sold to mine-mouth power plants, called “coal base price”, is USD 16.36 per ton at an assured margin of 15% and coal quality of less than GAR 3000 or higher. In response, PT Bukit Asam, Indonesia’s national coal corporation, has committed to build 4,400 MW within its coal concessions in Sumatra. Since May 2010 PT PLN, the national power corporation, has been bidding out approximately 6,510 MW of mine-mouth plants in Sumatra, with an estimated cost of USD 110.44 million per 100 MW. Independent power producers (IPPs) have committed 800 MW also in Sumatra. In East Kalimantan, Borneo Island, coal mining company PT Adaro is constructing a 600-MW mine-mouth plant within its license area. Laos In the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the Hongsa Mine Mouth Power Project, a 2,504 MW (4 x 626 MW) mine mouth power plant complex, has been under construction since October 2010. The first two units of 626 MW each were commissioned in 2015, with the third unit commissioned in 2016. The fourth unit began operating this year upon expansion of lignite reserves from 370.8 million tons to 577 million tons with an average heating value of 2500 Kcal/kg. Coal cost averages Baht 300/ton or USD 8.10/ton. Power production is allocated mainly to Thailand’s EGAT under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Thai-Lao Lignite Company at 5.7 US cents per Kwh. Figure 1 is a layout of Hongsa Lignite Mine and Power Plant showing the water source for steam generation and cooling. Mongolia In Mongolia, the Chandgana Mine Mouth Power Project is in the last stage of negotiation for government guarantee of revenue requirement for international financing. The project consists of four units of 150 MW each totaling 600 MW licensed since 2010 to Prophecy Power Generation LLC (PPG). Coal source is the Chandgana Tal Coal Deposit of Chandgana Coal LLC, which is 100% owned by Prophecy Development Corporation of Vancouver, Canada, the owner of PPG. Coal supply is 3.6 million tons per year, backed up by measured resource of 733 million tons. The coal supply agreement between Chandgana Coal and PPG is pegged at a coal price of USD 17.70 per ton. Philippines In the Philippines, a mine-mouth power plant has been in operation since 2014 as a component of the coal mining operation of the Semirara Mining Corporation in Semirara Island, Caluya Municipality, Antique Province. The plant has a 15-MW capacity using CFBC technology. Production cost is Php 3.55 /Kwh (US cent 7.1/Kwh). In 2014, the Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) was supposed to start the construction of a 50- to100-MW mine-mouth power plant in Cauayan, Isabela located beside a 25 million-ton lignite reserve. However, in August 2015, the Philippine government deferred approval of the plan pending proof of PNOC-EC’s financial capability to undertake the project. PNOC-EC is currently searching for a viable project partner. MINE-MOUTH POWER PLANT DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES The countries cited as examples clearly demonstrate the potential of mine-mouth power development to significantly reduce electricity cost in the Philippines. The 5.7 US cents per Kwh price of electricity sold to Thailand from the Hongsa mine-mouth power plant in Lao PDR is a viable target for mine-mouth power plants in the Philippines. If this cost is doubled to include transmission, distribution and other costs to deliver the electricity to Filipino consumers, the price would be only 11.14 US cents or just a little lower than the 12 US cents that the average American household pays for one Kwh of electricity. The foregoing explores the feasibility and benefits of mine-mouth power plant development in the Philippines. 1. AVAILABILITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF COAL RESOURCES IN RELATION TO THE NATIONAL POWER TRANSMISSION GRID Figure 2 shows the known coal deposits in the Philippines. The wide distribution of these deposits throughout the archipelago favors the distributed generation of base load electric power, an important factor towards minimizing transmission costs and losses. At least 10 of the deposits have accurate delineation of resources and coal qualities that can be used for mine-mouth power plant planning, as shown in Table 2a and Table 2b. Figure 3 shows the 10 potential mine mouth plant sites in relation to the existing transmission grid and planned upgrading until 2030. Although the Iguig and Semirara sites will not be connected to the grid until 2022, the other eight sites are within 30 kms of existing HVDC substations where the prospective plants can be connected to the grid. 2. PROJECTED INSTALLED CAPACITIES AND ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION COSTS The potential installed baseload capacities and electricity production costs are estimated from available data for each of the 10 sites using an investment cost of USD 1,200/KW based on 2014 Indonesian bidding estimates and a higher USD 1,850/KW estimate based on the CFB power plants recently constructed in the Philippines. The two scenarios are given in Table 3a and Table 3b. Table 3a (at 1,850 $/kW) and Table 3b (at 1,200 $/kW) show the estimated installed capacity, the planned capacity of various proponents and electricity cost from mine-mouth power plants based on planned capacity. The average costs of mine-mouth electricity nationwide are PhP 3.52 and PhP 2.74 /kWh based on USD 1,850 and 1,200 /kW of all-in (installed) capital cost of CFB plant. The formula for calculating the potential installed capacity from the coal reserves for a 25-year mine-mouth power plant is shown below which assumes a CFBC thermal efficiency of 34.39% (plant heat rate = 3412 / 34.39% = 9,921 Btu/kWh) and net capacity factor of 85%. MW = (Coal Reserve/25 x 10^6 x 10^3) x GHV x 2.2046 x (34.39% / 3412) / (365 x 24 x 85%) / 1000 The total potential installed baseload capacity is 1,828 MW or about 10.4 % of the existing installed capacity of 17,610.8 MW nationwide. The planned capacity addition from mine-mouth power plants from prospective developers aggregates to a higher capacity of 1,985 MW or 11.3% of existing installed capacity. 3. OVERALL REDUCTION IN AVERAGE ELECTRICITY RATES The following Table 4 shows the price breakdown of electricity in 2004 and 2014 and the average annual growth rate of each component (Final Report of Task Force on Reducing the Cost of Electricity Power, 2014). Generation cost is Php5.425/kWh in 2014 and is growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6%, while total delivered electricity cost inclusive of transmission, system loss, distribution, subsidies, universal charge and government taxes aggregate to Php9.568 /kWh in 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 4.7% p.a. Table 4. Electricity Cost Components and Annual Average Growth Rates (2004, 2014). Reduction in electricity cost at USD1,850/kW Using the current Philippine all-in capital cost (overnight cost) for a mine-mouth CFBC of USD1,850/kW, the average price of electricity from these mine-mouth power plants is Php3.52 /kWh (7.49 US cents/Kwh). (see box below) The current grid rate average of Php5.425 /kWh (11.54 US cents/Kwh) at present can be substantially reduced and a lower weighted average grid rate from blending the two rates will be achieved at Php5.232 /kWh (11.13 US cents/Kwh) or a significant reduction of 3.56% relative to 2014 grid rates. Reduction in electricity cost at USD1,200/kW Using the all-in capital cost from winning bidders in Indonesia for mine-mouth CFBC of USD1,200/kW, the average price of electricity from these mine-mouth power plants is Php2.74 /kWh (5.83 US cents/Kwh). (see box below) The current grid rate average of Php5.425 /kWh (11.54 US cents/Kwh) at present can be substantially reduced and a lower weighted average grid rate from blending the two rates will be achieved at Php5.153/kWh (10.96 US cents/Kwh) or a significant reduction of 5.01% relative to 2014 grid rates. Major Assumptions for the Project Finance Model (DCF IRR) The DCF IRR model was converged to project NPV equal to zero at the target project IRR (100% equity, 0% debt) of 12% p.a. The model also computes the expected equity NPV, equity IRR and other calculated parameters such as project PAYBACK, equity PAYBACK and debt service cover ratio (DSCR – minimum, average, and maximum). The project finance model (discounted cash flow IRR method) used the following input assumptions in running each mine-mouth capacity of a given mine-mouth resource area. (see next box) 4. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF MINE-MOUTH POWER DEVELOPMENT Aside from the reduction of electricity generation cost, mine mouth power plant development in the Philippines could contribute tremendous benefits to the economy and provide sustainability in power development. These are: a. Savings in petroleum fuel use, b. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal, c. Protection from coal supply disruption and coal price volatility, d. Potential to shift from coal to renewable energy, and e. Enhance inclusive growth and sustainability of power development. Reduction of transportation distance for supplying coal from mine to power plant should result in significant savings in petroleum fuel use. The minimum savings would be the amount of diesel oil to be used in transporting the coal to the nearest shore where a power plant may be located or a ship can carry the coal to a plant. Considering the 10 potential mine mouth plant sites above, the minimum savings in diesel oil is thus estimated to be about 469.8 million liters or 2.9 million barrels. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal can be estimated from the present price of about USD30/ton-CFR of lignite from Indonesia that is imported by the newly installed CFB power plants in the Philippines. Assuming that this price remains as the average during the 25-year life of the power plants, the total avoided foreign exchange cost of the 450 million tons used during 25 years is about USD 13.5 billion. During the past five years (2009-2015), coal prices experienced steep fluctuations. Figure 4 shows the volatility of coal prices and the recent uptrend from a long period of declining prices. Mine-mouth power plant development would certainly protect the Philippines from the negative effects of coal price volatility and supply disruptions stemming from Indonesia’s moratorium on coal shipments to the Philippines due to hijacking and piracy of coal barges in the seas between the two countries. With the high fuel flexibility of CFBC technology, it is now possible for power plants to shift from lignite to biomass. A mine-mouth plant running on CFBC and coal fuel with heating value of 2500 Kcal/kg can be converted to a biomass-fueled plant with no drastic changes in turbine and boiler conditions. It is possible to plan the construction of a mine-mouth power plant that will run on lignite for the first 10 to 15 years and then switch to biomass or wood chips. A parallel development of commercial biomass-producing farms and/or industrial forest management areas in the plant’s vicinity can be implemented during the first half of the plant’s lifespan; the plant can subsequently function as a biomass-fired power plant for the remainder of its lifespan. This concept can address the clamor of climate change mitigation advocates for a shift from coal to renewable energy. Inclusive economic growth is further assured by organizing the nearby communities to forest management cooperatives that can plant and grow appropriate fast-growing tree species to supply the wood chip requirements of the coal-biomass-fired power plant. For instance, planting rubber trees that would provide rubber sap to a nearby rubber factory after 5 years would be ideal. This would provide immediate income after only 5 years up to 10 years when the rubber trees would be fully mature for wood chipping as they no longer produce rubber sap. By planting specific areas in an organized manner, a continuous supply of biomass wood chips is assured for the power plant, thereby extending the life of the mine-mouth coal reserves. Moreover, the biomass tree farm would ensure ecological balance within the surface/strip mine area. Once the coal reserves are exhausted or deemed expensive to mine, the biomass tree farm would ensure continued power plant operation and provide a steady supply of rubber sap to a nearby raw rubber factory. Mine-mouth power plant development contributes to inclusive growth because it requires indigenous fuel sources and local labor. Moreover, the potential for mine-mouth plants to convert from coal to renewable biomass-fired plants ensures sustainability. CONCLUSIONS Mine-mouth power development can greatly reduce the cost of electricity and provide many additional benefits to the Philippine economy, namely: a. Savings in petroleum fuel use, b. Savings in foreign exchange for imported coal, c. Protection from coal supply disruption and coal price volatility, d. Potential to shift from coal to renewable energy, and e. Enhance inclusive growth and sustainability of power development. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Priority dispatch for mine-mouth power plants. 2. Priority supply of electricity to host communities. 3. Upgrading benefits to host communities of MMPPs. 4. Develop commercial biomass farms for producing wood chips to replace coal once it is mined out or becomes economically non-viable to extract due to high strip ratio. The initial coal mining operation and power generation will provide the needed capital to start the commercial operation of the biomass farm utilizing local labor with expert assistance from relevant agencies to ensure inclusive growth and sustainability in rural areas.
Philippine Resources - May 29, 2019
MGB’s Mining Updates on Proposed Revisions of Existing Mining Laws
1 April 2019 - Philippine Mining and Exploration Association, for their Monthly Membership Meeting at Manila Elks Club, Makati City, presented the “Mining Updates and Open Forum Discussion on Proposed Revisions of Existing Mining Laws”.The topic was discussed and reported by Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng, Acting Assistant Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The meeting started with a review of recent policies that were signed in 2017 onwards. Here is a rundown of policies and its development, plus a summary of events that transpired and affected the Philippine mining operations.A Review of Recent PoliciesOct. 9, 2017 - Memorandum was issued by MGB Director providing "streamlined" checklists of requirements of various mining applications. May 25, 2018 - MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-01 was issued in re: Guidelines in the Conduct of Apprehension, Seizure, Confiscation and Disposition of Illegally Sourced Minerals/Mineral Products and By-Products, Tools, Conveyances and Equipment Used.June 18, 2018 - Issued DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2018-05 in re: Non-Coverage of Small-Scale Mining Projects from the Department Memorandum Order No. 2016-01.July 3, 2018 - DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-13 in re: Lifting of the Moratorium on the Acceptance, Processing and/or Approval of Applications for Exploration Permit Under Department Memorandum Order No. 2016-01.July 3, 2018 - Issued MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02 in re: Guidance for Compliance Monitoring and Rating/Scorecard of Mining Permits/Contracts.July 17, 2018 - DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-20 in re: Providing for a New Guidelines in the Evaluation and Approval of the Three-Year Development/Utilization Work ProgramAug. 17, 2018 - Issued DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-19 in re: Guidelines for Additional Environmental Measures for Operating Surface Metallic MinesMarch 2019 Policy Issuance1) MGB Memorandum Circular re: Clarification Guidelines on Industrial Sand and Gravel Permit~ Providing for clarification on the coverage of ISAGP i.e. permit area2) MGB Memorandum Circular re: Supplemental Guidelines to MGB MC 2018-01 Otherwise known as Guidelines in the Apprehension, Seizure, Confiscation and Disposition of Illegally Sourced Minerals/Mineral Products and By-Products, Tools, Conveyances and Equipment Used~ Additional provisions for conveyance, release, posting of bond, establishment of confiscation panel3) MGB Memorandum Order re: Guidelines for Care and Maintenance Programs for Mining Projects~ Provides for the mandatory submission of a CMP~ Assures fund allocation~ Provides for penalties for certain violations4) DENR Administrative Order re: Guidelines on the Disposition of Residual Stockpiles Sourced from Small-Scale Mining Operations Previously Covered by Valid Mining Permits Issued Pursuant to PD 1899 and Temporary Small-Scale Mining Contracts under DAO 2012-07.~ Provides clear guidelines on the disposition procedures and timelines- - -Recent Inter-Agency CoordinationJoint Memorandum Circular: Guidelines on the Issuance of Clearance and/or Permit for Dredging within Waterways or other Inland Body or Water.~ Provides for a standard and uniform procedures in the approval of dredging/mining permitPolicy Directions:Guiding Principle - Ours is a Responsible Mining that is:1) People-Oriented as it provides decent jobs and benefit host communitiesUpcoming Policy Issuances:~ Expediting the approval of Minahang Bayan and processing of SSM Contracts~ Ensuring timely release of the share of LGUs~ Ensure increasing LGUs' share and granting them direct access similar to existing arrangements with the PEZA2) It Protects and Enhances the Environment Upcoming Policy Issuances:~ Strict monitoring of the shipments of ores/minerals~ Strict implementation of Water Code and NWRB policies on the use of water in mining operations~ Strict enforcing ban on black sand mining in coastal areas3) Equipped with Strong Monitoring and Enforcement SystemUpcoming Policy Issuances:~ Strengthening of the Environmental National Task Force to stop illegal mining and environmental violations~ Use of modern technology in monitoring mine operations~ Blacklisting of irresponsible mining companies with major violations~ Cleansing of non-moving mining rights holders and review of existing mineral agreement for renegotiation of the terms and conditions~ Strengthening of the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT)~ Imposing one-strike policy to DENR officials for inability to monitor and take immediate actions on major violations4) It Contributes and Promotes fair share to the National IncomeUpcoming Policy Issuances:~ Amend EO 79 - lifting the moratorium on the grant of Mineral Agreement (MPSA)~ Declaring high mineral potential areas as mineral reservations including all existing operating mines~ Promoting establishment of mineral processing plants in the country~ Mandatory mineral processing of all nickel ore~ Finalizing the national program and road map for the development of value-adding activities and downstream industries for strategic metallic ores 5) World Class, efficient, effective and competitiveUpcoming Policy Issuances:~ Adoption of new technology to maximize mineral ore utilization and environment protection~ Requiring all operating mines to have ISO certifications~ Options and alternatives on open pit mining methods
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019
Updates on the Bamboo Initiative by OLLI Cares
By Marcelle P. Villegas 3 May 2019 - During Philippine Mining Club at I’M Hotel, Makati City, Mr Leo Dominguez presented updates on his Bamboo Initiative, an advocacy which he started with the support of other mining companies and assoc. Mr Dominguez is the President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and flamboyant Masters of Ceremonies in Philippine Mining Club events. During the recent PMC event, he stated, “If you were here on June 8, 2018 you will recall that we had this speaker from our Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretary Cimatu, where he spoke to us about reinventing mining. And during that presentation of his and in the ‘Question and Answer’ period after that, we started a conversation around bamboo.” “I'd like to report that that conversation has actually led to some developments. The first development after that was the participation of the mining industry in the FAME exhibition in November (2018) where bamboo products were put forward as part of the exhibit in a pavilion that was funded, thank you, by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines as well as the Philippine Nickel Industry Association to the tune of PHP1.6 million. And it is in that FAME exhibition that the collaboration amongst the Department of Trade and Industry, the DENR, and the mining industry was first told. So we expect that FAME every year will repeat the story of that collaboration as it improves.” Furthermore, he said, “Now, beyond that in April this year, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Cimatu, hosted a meeting with the DTI Secretary, the mining industry as well as his staff responsible for bamboo. So I'd like to refer to it as a bamboo initiative and it was in that very well-attended meeting that the next steps of the bamboo initiative with the mining industry were discussed.” “So our next move will be a technical working group that will deal with the regulations and all that need to be tweaked to really make bamboo a greening material for the mining industry as we go forward.” The meeting which Mr Dominguez was referring to took place on 2nd April 2019 where OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. with DENR, DTI and mining companies and its stakeholders discussed the potential of bamboo in “reinventing mining”. OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. has a CSR component called “OLLI Cares” which supports the “Tanging Tanglaw” Project of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc. (For more information about OLLI Cares and “Tanging Tanglaw Project”, please visit their webpage at https://olli.ph/olli-cares.) In that meeting with Secretary Cimatu and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Mr Dominguez started the session by explaining the importance of bamboo. He said “Aptly called the Bamboo Initiative, this endeavor seeks to create a synergy between the government and the private sector on how to effectively harness the power and potential of this grass for the revegetation and rehabilitation of mine sites across the country.” The following were present in that meeting  : ~ Philex Mining Corporation - Eulalio Austin ~ Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation - Isidro ‘Butch’ Alcantara Jr. ~ Filminera Resources Corporation - Gloria Tan Climaco ~ OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. - Jose ‘Joey’ Leviste, Jr. ~ The Chamber of Mines’ (COMP) Executive Director Atty. Ronald Recidoro ~ Philippine Nickel Industry Association’s (PNIA) Executive Director Charmaine Olea-Capili ~ Mine & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr. ~ DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director - Lourdes Ferrer ~ Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) - Bighani Manipula and Angelito Exconde ~ Biodiversity Management Bureau’s (BMB) - Juvy Ladisla ~ OLLI Consulting Group - Christopher Paris Lacson, Steve Araneta and Maria Paula Tolentino - - - Now, going back to the PMC event, Mr Dominguez said, “As you all know, the whole idea is the bamboo will also be the material that the communities on whom your SDMP funds are being spent will be taught to work with the bamboo. The result will be implementing the DTI's roadmap for the development of the bamboo industry. This will generate livelihoods and hopefully more than that -- real enterprises involving our mining communities.” “So one day, we hope to say that when visitors do come to the mining companies, the first protocol will be the community, seeing how hard they are working, products that are going to export market, and so on. And you, mining companies, will be able to tell your visitors that the mine over there is what makes it possible.” “So ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, with bamboo we have the opportunity to reinvent mining and then mining will now be defined as follows: The success of a mining company will no longer be judged simply by how profitable or how responsible the mining company is, but it will also be judged by how successful it makes its mining communities.” Finally, he concluded, “Therefore, mining reinvented, thanks to bamboo, will mean that mining is also a social enterprise. We'd like to see where that is going. Ladies and gentlemen, with your help and continuing support for this initiative, we hope to change the conversation about mining and therefore make that conversation speak of it as a social enterprise as well. You will hear more about this as the developments take place.“ - - - Reference:  Tolentino, Maria Paula (27 April 2019). "OLLI Cares spearheads the Bamboo Initiative". SEMScribe Publishing - - - Acknowledgement: Mr Leo Dominguez and Ms Maria Paula Tolentino
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019
Is the East Mindanao Volcanic Arc Lost, Buried or Eroded?
By Marcelle P. Villegas During the GeoCon 2018 last year in December, a study about East Mindanao Volcanic Arc by Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr. and his team, C.B. Dimalanta, J.A. Gabo-Ratio, B.D. Payot, et. al., was presented. The title is "East Mindanao Volcanic Arc, Philippines: Lost, Buried or Eroded?". The members of the study are from Apex Mining Company, Inc. (Pasig City) and Rushurgent Working Group, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines (Diliman, Quezon City). It seems apparent that whenever an oceanic plate subducts along a trench, this would result into the formation of a volcanic arc. There may also be a formation of geothermal fields, mineralization, accretion of oceanic plates and subduction erosion. The Philippine Mobile Belt also plays a role in this study. The Philippine Mobile Belt is a complex portion of the tectonic boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. This includes the Manila Trench to the west and the Philippine Trench to the east, and the Philippine Fault System. This belt is notable to having numerous of crustal blocks or microplates. Now based on the report, the eastern boundary of the Philippine Mobile Belt is characterized by the reactivated East Luzon Trough which shares a common transform boundary with the west-dipping Philippine Trench. “It has been argued that the East Luzon Trough-Philippine Trench is propagating northward whereas the Visayan-Mindanao segment of the subduction zone is propagating southward. This is mirrored by the northward and southward propagation of the Philippine Fault Zone whose northern and southern termini are characterized by horse-tail structures,” according to the study. “A look at the Philippine Trench with respect to the Bicol Peninsula through Samar-Leyte all the way to eastern Mindanao exposes differences in the morphology and distribution of volcanic arc centers. A well-formed volcanic chain characterizes the Bicol Peninsula, whereas an alignment of geothermal fields and volcanoes can be observed along the NW-SE stretch of the Leyte island. However, eastern Mindanao is defined by an almost non-existent volcanic arc range except for Mount Paco in Surigao del Norte and Leonard Range (also known as Leonard Kniassef) in Compostela Valley.” With all these geological features and movements described from the study, here are some points to think about. “A question to ask is why would the volcanic arc range along eastern Mindanao be absent? Was it lost due to large-scale fault-related dislocation? Is the volcanic arc range simply not just exposed? Or through time, would there have been a systematic, region-wide erosion of volcanic arc centers? Or were the volcanic centers not simply formed due to stunted subducted slab or the presence of a subducted, buoyant oceanic bathymetric high?” When we take into consideration the geological evolution on this part of Mindanao, an explanation can be found compatible with what is known. “Implication in terms of arc magmatism (super-critical fluids vs mantle fluids), crustal thickness vis-a-vis barometric fugacity, tholeiitic to calc-alkaline signature of cumulate rocks and the mineralization potential of the region will also be presented.” - - -  Complete list of authors and researchers: Dr. Graciano Yumul, Jr., C.B. Dimalanta, J.A. Gabo-Ratio, B.D. Payot, V.S.V. Olfindo, G.T. Valera, C.J. Arellano, K.C. Punzalan, K.D. Jabagat, J.B. Demegillo, K.L. Queano and N.L. Caagusan You may write the team through email@example.com.
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Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019
ECCP Launched the 1st Philippine Natural Resources Development Forum
By Marcelle P. Villegas 26 April 2019 - The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) organized and launched the 1st Philippine Natural Resources Development Forum at the Marriott Hotel Manila. The forum’s theme was “Harnessing Natural Resources for Inclusiveness and Sustainable Development”. ECCP describes the current status of the Philippine mining industry: “The mining industry in the Philippines is a major economic activity but remains operating below potential. There is a considerable anti-mining sentiment in the country especially at the subnational levels where environmental impact and displacement of indigenous peoples caused by mining operations have been the focus of much debate. Small-scale mining is also contentious, due to poor regulations and overlapping policies between national and local government. The ECCP believes that the contribution to national development can be further enhanced through better regulatory and enabling policies, best practices in value sharing, environment-friendly technologies and socially responsible investments.”  According to ECCP, the objective of the 1st Philippine Natural Resources Development Forum intends to convene decision makers and other key stakeholders from the Mining (Metallic and Non-metallic subsectors) as well as Upstream Oil & Gas, Coal subsectors, to discuss challenges, opportunities, policy reforms and best practices in harnessing the country’s natural resources and their contribution to sustainable development.  Present during the event were key players in the mineral resources industry from the public and private sectors. There were also participants and attendees from civil society organisations and academic groups. The forum discussed the latest issues and challenges being faced by the mining industry in the Philippines. The forum and its speakers thoroughly enumerated the many ways that the industry has contributed to the Philippine economic and social development. The forum also covered discussions on good governance, environmental management within a mining operation, global standards and sustainable mining practices. The forum had four sessions namely: Contribution to National, Local and Community Development, Global Standards in Enhancing Inclusion along the Value Chain, Good Practices in Responsible Natural Resource Management and Inclusive Value Chain, and Unlocking Future Growth Opportunities. The Welcome Address was given by Mr Nabil Francis, President of ECCP who emphasised the great potential and role of mining as an economic development catalyst in the country, for which proper information sharing, such as this forum, is key in solving the industry’s current problems. “While there is much to do in terms of regulation and improving doing business in this sector, it is very encouraging to see you all here today willing to listen, willing to learn, willing to contribute to this common goal,” he stated. During the first session, Acting Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Atty. Wilfredo Moncano, was a speaker and he discussed the current status of the mineral industry in the Philippines, including the approved mining tenements, the sector’s economic contribution, and current and proposed fiscal regime.  On his keynote speech, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), mentioned five aspects of proper management of our mineral resources: (a) social; (b) environmental; (c) technological; (d) industrialization; and (e) exploration aspect. The Secretary noted the importance of “social acceptability” in the industry, and treating host communities more than just as a legal or regulatory sense. In the environmental aspect of operations, he emphasised the need to pay more attention to waste production since mineral extraction is the largest global waste producer. The secretary expressed his discontent on the weak enforcement of environmental laws and mitigating measures, and implored the mining sector to cooperate and “strictly comply with environmental laws and standards.” For this, the Secretary recommended the upgrade of monitoring system, standards, and practices in order to have better control on environmental issues. Secretary Cimatu stated that we should ensure availability of mineral resources for the future generation, thus we have to pursue sustainable exploration and extraction methods including but not limited to shifting to renewable energy. Representatives of Quisumbing Torres, Atty. Gaston Perez de Tagle and Atty. Dennis Quintero were the moderators of the Open Forum. In one interaction with speakers from the public sector, one of the delegates was the international award-winning architect and urban planner, Arch. Felino “Jun” A. Palafox, Jr. He pointed out (through his question) that given that the Philippines is very much rich in natural resources, that the taxes generated from the operations is clearly a solution in alleviating poverty in Philippines. During the four sessions of the forum, the other speakers were Usec. Bayani Agabin (Undersecretary for Legal Services, Department of Finance), Mr Jerome G. Cipriano (SGS Phils., Inc.), Mr Isidro C. Alcantara, Jr. (Chairman, Philippine Nickel Industry Association), Mr John Reinier Dizon (VP - Strategy and Business Development, Republic Cement Services, Inc.), Mr. Angelo Kris Marcos (Senior Contracting and Procurement Manager, Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.), Mr Michael Spence (Managing Partner of Southeast Asia Partners in Performance), Usec. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh (DENR), Mr Gerard Brimo (Chairman, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines), Mr Renato C. Sunico (Chair and President, Cement Manufacturers’ Asso. of the Phils.), Engr. Rufino Bomasang (Chairman, Petroleum Asso. of the Phils.), and more. Some facts about the Philippine Mining Industry from ECCP: ~ 30 million hectares of land in the Philippines are possible areas for metallic minerals ~ 9 million hectares of land are identified as having high mineral potential The Philippines is endowed with bountiful metallic and non-metallic mineral resources. It is the 5th most mineral-rich country in the world for gold, nickel, copper and chromite. The Philippines has the world’s largest copper-gold deposit in the world. It also exports some iron ore, chromium, zinc and silver, and produces oil and gas. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) estimates that the country has $840 billion worth of untapped mineral wealth. Approximately 30 million hectares of land in the Philippines are possible areas for metallic minerals; nine million hectares of land are identified as having high mineral potential. The Philippines metal deposits is estimated at 21.5 billion metric tons and non-metallic minerals are at 19.3 billion metric tons. - - - Reference:  Retrieved from https://www.eccp.com/events/?id=499  Retrieved from http://mgb.gov.ph/en/2015-05-13-02-02-11/mgb-news/860-eccp-conducts-the-1st-philippine-natural-resources-development-forum
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 29, 2019
Australian Embassy Hosts the Annual Journalists’ Reception
By Marcelle P. Villegas Every year, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines hosts the Annual Journalists’ Reception with a goal to provide a dialogue and interaction between Australian companies in the Philippines and the local media. Last 4th April 2019, the event was held at the residence of the Australian Ambassador in Makati City. Present during the Reception were several business executives from various Australian companies representing banking, finance, mining, shipbuilding, telecommunication, education sector and more. The first part of the Annual Journalists’ Reception was a business forum that was led by Ms Elodie Journet who is the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner - Austrade. Other representatives from the Australian Embassy in the Philippines were Mr Mat Kimberley (Deputy Head of Missions), Ms Clare Duffield (Counsellor - Political and Public Diplomacy), Ms Nardia Simpson (Counsellor - Economic), Ms Kerrie Anderson (Counsellor - Development), Grp Capt. Ian Goold, CSC (Defence Attache), Det. Supt. Richard Stanford, APM (Senior Liaison Officer - AFP), Ms Elizabeth Carter (Counsellor and Chief Migration Officer), Ms Cristina Mojica (Counsellor and Chief Migration Officer), and Ms Jenni McEwin (First Secretary Economic). The speakers during the forum were Ms Anna Green (CEO, ANZ Bank Phils.), Mr Wayne Murray (President, Austal), Mikhail Jao (Marketing Manager, IDP Education Phils. Office), Eric Yaptangco (Division Director, Macquarie Phils.), Bradley Norman (Country Director, OceanaGold Phils.), Mark Woolfrey (Exec. GM, QBE Insurance), Brett McPhee (GM, Site Skills Training Phils.), Russell Claxton (CEO, TWPS), and Mark Richardson (VP, TWPS). Other companies that participated were Crone, GHD, Greenstone, Qantas, and Telstra. The discussion was centered on how Australian companies are helping the Philippines in economic development and other aspects like defence, education, mining, environment and more. Mr Wayne Murray, President and GM of Austal Philippines stated that they are working with the Philippine Navy and looking into a contract to build and provide six offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). This is in relation to the August 2018 Nikkei report that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said that they would be sourcing six OPVs from Austal. “Because it’s an offshore patrol vessel, as the name implies, it’s offshore, but it’s not going to be for international use. It’s for inter-island protection,” according to Mr Murray. He noted that OPVs can be used in travelling in areas like Benham Rise and the Spratly Islands.  Philippine Resources Journal interviewed Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Ms Elodie Journet about how Australia is helping the mining sector in the Philippines given that the industry has been under a lot of setbacks and is strongly contradicted by anti-mining lobbyists. We also asked her about her views about mining in general. Ms Journet said, “We [Australia], truly believe in sustainable mining. As a country, we have proven that you can actually have sustainable mining and we can have mining in environment. We've had very strong standards as well to it, to ensure that you can actually operate and protect the environment as well. For that, we've been very keen on looking at collaborating with the Philippine government and to ensure that we share our knowledge, share our standards, share also some of our latest technologies.” She adds, “We've got a very strong industry around mining, technology, equipment and services, so we've got a whole range of companies in Australia that are very keen on coming to the Philippines and collaborating as well.” With regards to best practices in mining, she states, “You've already got some really good mining operations here in the Philippines that had been winning awards as well in terms of environmental protection. Thus, I think it is just a matter of also being able to highlight some of those successes and also continue to build on ensuring that in order to protect the environment further.” What were the measures done by Australia in order to help the Philippine mining industry? Ms Journet said, “We have taken delegations from DENR to Australia. Every year, we host the International Mining Conference in Melbourne. The conference is all about presenting some of the latest techniques and sharing of information. We took the delegation from DENR there to be able to see some of our operations in Australia.” “There are many areas in Australia that are successful mining operations and right next to it you have great agricultural land. We've got great tourism industries as well so it's a great way to actually look at how can you contribute to the community as well. Indeed, mining and agriculture can co-exist.” She added, “I think the Philippines has already got some great guidelines in mining. It is really looking at how do you help the industry follow some of the implementation as well. We are happy to partner with the Philippines in that way.” This year’s Journalists’ Reception is the first one with the new Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Steven J. Robinson AO. Although this event was not his first time to have a gathering at his residence, the Annual Journalists’ Reception this year is somehow one of the first instances when he faced a wider range of journalists from various media outlets, publications and TV networks. During an open forum with him, the Ambassador eloquently answered a battery of questions from his guests that touched many subject matters about politics, agriculture, economics, defence, his first encounter with the Philippine President, Australia’s standing about the South China Sea dispute, his impression of the Philippines, and more. Ambassador Robinson arrived here in the Philippines early in January 2019, two weeks before the celebration of Australia Day (24 January 2019). During the Annual Journalists’ Reception, he mentioned that one of the first things he did as ambassador was to visit Marawi in order to continue the work that was endorsed to him by the former Australian Ambassador, Honourable Amanda Gorely. As of October 2018, Australia increased their support to Marawi’s recovery and rehabilitation to Php975 million (AUD25 million). Australia’s effort aims to bring long-term peace and stability in the southern Philippines following the siege of Marawi City in May - October 2017.  The Ambassador shared that his first visit to the Philippines was around 40 years ago during his college years. “At that time I was struck by the archipelago’s natural beauty, I experienced the warmth of the Filipino people and felt the dynamic energy of the cities of Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga. It seized my attention and I have returned many times over the intervening years. So it is a great honour and a privilege to return here now as Australia’s new Ambassador to the Philippines.”  Ambassador Robinson is a senior career officer (Deputy Secretary level) in the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) “for service to Australia’s international interests through a significant and sustained contribution”. The Ambassador holds a BA (Hons) and Diploma in Education from the University of Sydney. - - - References:  Mogato, Anna Gabriela A. (8 April 2019). “Australian firm eyes Philippine Navy contract for patrol vessels”. Rappler.  “Australia Increases Support to PHP 975 Million For Marawi Recovery” Retrieved from https://philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/medrel181026.html  H.E. Steven J. Robinson’s speech during Australia Day Celebration, 24 January 2019 Retrived from https://philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/speech20190124.html