BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO
BAGUIO CITY (November 21)—The Didipio Mine bagged three Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Awards (PMIEA) during the recently concluded 68th Annual National Mines Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) in Baguio City.
The Didipio Mine was the overall winner in the safest mining operation category, being also the winner for safest underground mining operation, as well as for the safest mineral-concentrator category.
Lawyer Joan Adaci-Cattiling, OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc. (OGPI) president, said the Didipio Mine continues to put more emphasis on the safety of its workers, the community and the environment.
“Our people and their safety and the safety of our communities and the environment were a focus as we resumed full operations at the Didipio Mine last year,” Cattiling noted.
She said they are grateful for the safety awards they received that recognized all the efforts, hard work and support for the Didipio Mine to achieve a safe restart of operations.
“These validate what we have done right as well as inspire us to do better not only on safety but overall as a responsible partner in resource development,” Cattiling added.
On July 14, 2021, the Philippine government confirmed the renewal of the Didipio Mine financial or technical assistant agreement (FTAA) for an additional 25-year period commencing on June 19, 2019.
Cattiling said the OGPI operates the Didipio Mine as the Philippine government’s mining contractor under FTAA 001 and the Addendum and Renewal Agreement of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.
She also said the renewed FTAA reflected similar financial terms and conditions while providing additional benefits to the communities and provinces that host the operation.
The four-day 68th ANMSEC gathering of miners and stakeholders that was concluded on Friday, November 18, was anchored on the theme “Resilience, Reset, Recovery.”
The gathering was organized by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) to promote occupational safety and health, environmental management and social responsibility.
PMSEA president Louie Sarmiento also noted that throughout the Covid-driven chaos, the mining industry remained resilient and steadfast “providing much-needed support to both our employees and surrounding communities.”
“Without much fanfare and unmindful of profits and losses, the mining companies persevered to keep the country moving,” Sarmiento said.
The 68th ANMSEC from Nov. 15 -18, 2022, was also a time to honor mining companies that are considered the best of the best in various other fields.
The other awards were best mine forest program, best supervisor, best miners and others in various categories metallic and nonmetallic, open pit and underground mining, exploration and processing, among others.
Conferring the annual awards aims to further promote private-sector participation in and enhance public awareness of protecting the environment and ecology.
Executive Order 399, series of 1997, established the PMIEA, which has categories, including mineral exploration, quarry operation, surface mining, underground mining, mineral processing and research and development.
This year’s conference was the first face-to-face gathering of miners and stakeholders in the Philippines under the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last such gathering was held in 2019.
This year’s event saw welcome night and cocktails, mining night, cocktail fellowship nights and a testimonial dinner.
The highlight of the event was the awarding of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environment Award, which recognized the outstanding level of dedication, initiative and innovation, environmental management, mineral development and utilization.
Other winners were TVI Resources Development Phils. Inc.–Balabag gold-silver project, safest mining operation; Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc.-Batangas, safest quarry operation; Makilala Mining Co. Inc. (lone contender), safest exploration-category A; Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. (line contender), safest exploration-category B; Coral Bay Nickel Corp., safest mineral processing-extraction category; Graymont (Philippines) Inc., safest mineral processing-calcining plant category; Philippine Mining Services Corp.-Bohol plant, safest mineral processing-crushing plant category; and Taganito Mining Corp., most improved safety performance.
Winners in best mining forest were Taganito Mining Corp. in metallic category; Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc.-Bulacan in nonmetallic category; Coral Bay Nickel Corp. in mineral processing plant category; and Philex Mining Corp. in exploration category.