Monthly Archive: February 2017

Is The Closure of Some Mining Firms in the Philippines Necessary?

Mining companies in the Philippines have long been abusing the country. The oligarchs and politicians own some of these companies and have truly taken advantage of the system for many years.This is the reason that the Philippine government has started cracking down on mining companies who are not complying with government and international standards. I think that the closure of mines around the country is a very good step into cracking down on environmental abuse.

Alot of mining communities have been affected but most of these are because of violations and as many people have seen there are still mining operators in the country who have been properly complying with government laws and standards.

According to an Article in Philippine Star (link here) These firms have made over 82% of the profit for themselves and their company. They have not created opportunities for the communities they are involved in. There have also been mines that have been suspended due to violations.

Most of these sanctions have affected alot of workers in these mining companies however DENR Secretary Gina Lopez believes that area development is more important than short-term gains with mine that threaten the local community in the long-run.

So does the Philippine Government want to ban all kinds of mining?

I don’t actually believe this since there are still mining companies out there that have been allowed to continue their operations nationwide. These mining companies have been cleared of any wrongdoing and have been operating for a very long time.

An example of one of the companies that have not been sanctioned is Filminera Resources who co-own Masbate Gold Project with 1 other Filipino firm and a Canadian Partner. They have been deemed to be following the protocols set by the government. According to one article in Rappler (link here) Filminera Resources was not charged due to insufficient evidence that environmental damage is due to Filminera’s Mining activities. It has been junked by the court of appeals in the region of Masbate.

As you can see, mining in the Philippines is allowed and it is high time that we start sanctioning the people who have been abusing the Philippine’s natural environment. The message has been sent and it’s loud and clear: Mine Responsibly or Be Shut Down.

How Sustainable Integrated Area Development Mining is key to Mining Firms in the Philippines

Mining is now a hot topic in the country today, given all the suspensions and various news articles coming out right now. This is especially valuable globally since the Philippines is the #1 producer of Nickel Ore worldwide.

One of the key things that most local mining companies miss is the ability to build long-term and safe development in the mining communities all over the country. This is why over 23 mining companies have been shutdown by our DENR Secretary Miss Gina Lopez.

I truly believe that irresponsible mining is something that can easily be avoided and it is mostly being practiced because of greed and lack of knowledge and skill set to create sustainable integrated Development Mining.The problem for most mining companies here locally is that they do not have a long-term sustainable plan for the community beside their mining sites and a sustainable plan includes the environment, community as well as the government.

This is extremely important since Mining sites usually last for 10-20 years max before they get all the minerals in the site, having said that there should be a plan in place to create a developed community after the mining site has been fully depleted.

This is where Integrated development mining comes into play. According to the United Nation’s World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) “Foster sustainable mining practices through the provision of financial, technical and capacity-building support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for the mining and processing of minerals, including small-scale mining, and, where possible and appropriate, improve value-added processing, upgrade scientific and technological information and reclaim and rehabilitate degraded sites”

This is one of the worldwide goals of UN and this is why our DENR Secretary has been trying hard to help and implement this plan.

In an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) (Link Here)Lopez defined SIAD as “an approach, strategy and guiding philosophy that weaves environmental considerations with social justice and human development” and as you can see if you follow this process you will be able to mine in the Philippines safely.

One of these mining companies that have good business practices is Filminera Resources Inc. which has been deferred from suspension by the DENR as stated in the same article from PDI because they have been found to have sustainable integrated area development plans in place. Having said that, this only show that if you are a responsible company with extremely good business practices, you will be able to mine in the Philippines safely.

I think the key is to work hand in hand with the government to show them that as mining companies you are willing to comply and also know where your practices should be improved. I personally believe that all mining companies should coordinate with the government extensively in order to have a smooth and easy mining operation in the country while helping their mining communities.