• Responsible miners to be recognized

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    SEVERAL mining firms operating in the country were chosen as awardees this year for best mining practices, led by Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., SR Metal Inc., OceanGold (Phils) Inc., Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., and Coral Bay Nickel Corp.

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    The Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) and Best Forest Management will be conferred to outstanding mining projects to recognize their levels of dedication, initiative and innovation in the pursuit of entities involved in various aspects of mineral utilization.

    The scope of the environmental management includes programs, projects, activities being implemented for the environmental protection and enhancement of mining areas, development of the host and neighboring communities, land use improvement, exploration and mining site rehabilitation and final decommissioning.

    Based on the deliberation of the PMIEA Selection Committee on November 5, 2015, five companies were declared awardees for PMIEA, three companies for PMIEA SC Platinum Achievement Award and six companies for PMIEA SC Titanium Achievement Award.

    The awardees for PMIEA includes Silangan Mindanao, SR Metals, Inc., OceanGold, Rio Tuba Nickel, and Coral Bay Nickel Corp.

    Meanwhile, the awardees for PMIEA Platinum were Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corp. & Galeo Equipment Corp., Apo Cement Corp., Holcim Philippines, Inc. (La Union and Davao plants).

    Titanium awardees include Lafarge Republic Aggregates, Inc., Eagle Cement Corp., Lafarge Republic Inc. (Bulacan), and Minimax Mineral Exporation and Agata Mining Ventures Inc., and Cagdianao Mining Corp.

    The PMIEA was officially established under Executive Order No. 399 on February 03, 1997 in compliance with the policy that mineral exploration and mining operation shall be pro-environment and pro-people in sustaining wealth creation.

    The EO also requires that exploration and mining operation be managed in an environmentally responsible manner.

    The PMIEA awards are meant to be a fitting recognition of the private minerals sectors’ initiatives and exemplary achievements in the protection of the environment.

    All mining companies whether involved in exploration, active surface or underground operation, quarry operations and mineral processing in the country for at least a year at the time of the selection may qualify for the Award.

    Meanwhile, the Mining Forest Program was established by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order No. 22, Series of 1989.

    It has its own criteria and rating system for the selection of the winners for the Best Mining Forest contest, which was categorized into exploration, non-metallic, metallic and mineral processing.

    Based on the deliberation of the DENR NEC on November 4, 2015, the following winners are Aglubang Mining Corp and Alagag Corp for its Mindoro Nickel Project (Exploration), Holcom Philippines Manufaturing Corp. for its Lugait Plant (Non-metallic), Taganito Mining Corp. for its Taganito Nickel Project (Metallic), and Coral Bay Nickel Corp for its Hydrometallurgical Processing Plant lines 1 and 2 project (Mineral Processing Plant).

    The awarding ceremony will be held during the awards night at the 62nd Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference on November 20, 2015 at CAP-John Hay Trade Center and Cultural Center, Camp John Hay, Baguio City.

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    1. The anti-mining advocates are pushing for increased taxation in mining claiming that the excise tax on the industry is too little. But mining benefits the country in more than just minerals and revenue. As this shows, mining gives true inclusive growth (in contrast to the administration’s illusionary version) in the form of social services, employment, education and even environmental protection and expansion. If these advocates want to prevent the destructive effects of mining instead of trying to kill the industry with harsh taxes, they should push for the arrest of illegal miners who violate the Mining Act of 1995 which responsible miners follow faithfully.