GLOBAL Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI), the second largest nickel producer in the country and the largest single lateritic mine producer in the world, is committed to carry out its operations in an environmentally and socially responsible manner for the benefit of the country, most especially the communities in which it operates.
Last July 2016, its operating arm in Surigao del Norte, Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC), was among the first mining companies to receive International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2015 certification for Environmental Management System with no non-conformities issued at the time of the audit by Intertek–a global company specializing in assurance, testing, inspection and certification of products and services. Its affiliate based in Palawan, Ipilan Nickel Corporation, also received an environmental certification related to management of mine site preparation. ISO 14001 is the international standard that provides organizations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs.
“We believe in the principle of stewardship by protecting and caring for the environment for a sustainable future for generations to come,” lawyer Dante Bravo, president of FNI, said.
In Surigao del Norte, the company has been active in environmental protection with the installation of mitigating structures to capture run-offs, reforestation to reestablish flora, slope stability works and coastal protection not just in the area where it operates but in surrounding communities as well.
It is also the FNI’s mission to improve the quality of life of its host communities through programs and projects that build capability and generate livelihood. In Surigao del Norte, majority of the company’s Social Development Management Program fund goes to promoting quality education via scholarship programs, improvement of school facilities and donation of school supplies. Its health-related programs, such as medical missions, expansion of the birthing clinic and financial support to doctors, midwives and health workers, have dramatically enhanced the overall well-being of residents. The company has also made it possible for small business enterprises such as barber shops, tailoring shops and sari-sari (variety) stores to gain access to capital in order to make their respective businesses flourish.
In Palawan, FNI just launched the Rice Farming Assistance Project to help local rice farmers boost their harvest and increase their income by providing financial, technical and marketing assistance. Apart from funding and technical support, the company, together with a team of experts, will conduct workshops in relation to modern farming techniques, values orientation and financial literacy. At the start of the current school year, FNI was an active participant in the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela campaign and it recently turned over bags and school supplies to over 5,000 elementary and high school students in the host communities.
“I firmly believe that we at FNI are mining for a better future,” Bravo said.