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.