INTERNATIONAL certifying body TÜV Rheinland has recommended the issuance of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification to all four operating companies of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), in compliance with Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regulations.
These companies are Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. (RTNMC), Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), Cagdianao Mining Corp. (CMC), andTaganito Mining Corp. (TMC).
In its recommendation, TÜV said “the organization has established and maintains an effective system to ensure compliance with its policy and objectives.”
“The audit team confirms in line with the audit targets that the organization’s management system complies with, adequately maintains and implements the requirements of the standards,” it added.
“The audit team therefore recommends, provides the effectiveness of corrections and/or corrective actions addressing the identified nonconformities has been verified,” it said.
Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, TÜV Rheinland is a leader in international certification in the Philippines and works as an independent body in evaluating management systems.
The process for the ISO certification was mandated by NAC in compliance with Administrative Order 2015-07 issued by the DENR on April 30, 2015 and signed on May 15, 2015.
The DENR’s order requires all holders of valid mineral agreements (MAs) and Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAAs) engaged in metallic operations to secure ISO 14001 Certification within one year from the date of the order.
It also institutionalizes an EMS to ensure the adherence of local mining operations to international standards.
Failure to secure or maintain the ISO 14001 certification will lead to the suspension of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and non-issuance of ore transport permit (OTP).
The ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that specifies the requirements for an EMS in order for an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives to enhance its environmental performance.
According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), this standard is used by the organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
Even before the issuance of the DENR directive, all companies under NAC have already been committed to establishing for themselves EMS and Responsible Mining advocacy.
Ranulfo Aquino, member of the HMC-EMS team, said that for an ISO 14001:2004 certification, the process is geared towards environmental aspect (cause) identification and environmental impact (effect) evaluation in accordance with business significance and environmental legal and other requirements.
Fidel Bontao, CMC environmental manager, said the ISO certification has a big impact in the operation of companies. This includes improved environmental performance; compliance with relevant environmental legislations; reduced operating costs via efficiencies in energy and water usage and through waste minimization; and improved stakeholder relationship by making the environment a priority.
After securing the ISO certification, Aquino said HMC would continue to monitor and measure the identified control parameters.
In the case of CMC, Bontao said after that the company secures the ISO certification, it plans to apply for OSH [Occupational Health and Safety} Certification and Quality System Certification in November 2016.