6 mining companies receive presidential awards on environment

Published November 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Six big mining companies were given awards at the prestigious Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for being able to prove that responsible mining exists through their best practices in safety and health management, environmental protection and community development.

The Presidential Awardees are the Agata Mining Ventures, Inc. (as operator of Agata Processing, Inc.) for Surface Mining Category; Cagdianao Mining Corporation (as operator of East Coast Mineral Resources Co., Inc.) for Surface Mining Category; Holcim Mining and Development Corp. – Davao for Quarry Operations Category; Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc. – Bulacan for Quarry Operations Category; Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corp. for Mineral Processing Category; and Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corp. for Mineral Exploration Category.

The PMIEA, pursuant to Executive Order No. 399, series of 1997, recognizes the exemplary practices and commitments of entities involved in underground and surface mining operation, quarry operation, mineral exploration, and mineral processing which all contribute towards sustainable mineral development by promoting responsible management of the environment and natural resources.

The PMIEA Selection Committee (PMIEASC) administered the annual search and selection of the qualified recipients of the PMIEA for the period July to December 2018 to January to June 2019.

PMIEASC is co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the President of Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

Its members include the respective secretaries of the following agencies: Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, and Department of Science and Technology. Other members of the said Committee are the Presidents of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association; and Philippine Mining and Exploration Association.

The awards were given weeks after DENR, through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), launched a massive nationwide information campaign on responsible mining in a bid to wipe out the negative perception on the controversial industry, a nearly impossible project in a nation that is highly skeptical of the extractive industries.

Such move, according to Environment Undersecretary for Mining Concerns Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, could eventually pave the way for the lifting of the ban on new mining projects.

“It will have contributory effects,” Teh said, referring to the efforts of the government to push for the lifting of Executive Order (EO) 79, which says that no new mineral agreements should be approved “until a legislation rationalizing existing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms shall have taken effect.”