QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya: A London-based mining firm has implemented projects aimed at securing continued livelihoods in host communities after the mine operation closes.

The projects are part of the firm's social development management program, or SDMP as mandated by law, said James Carmichael, FCF Minerals Corp. country manager.

Citing provisions in the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Carmichael said SDMP funding was pegged at 1.5 percent of the mine's annual operating cost, distributed as 75 percent for the development of host communities, 15 percent for an information and education campaign, and 10 percent for the development of mining technology.

One of the livelihood projects involves sweet potato production, which will be implemented by Runruno Livelihood Development Association. Beneficiaries can also choose to grow ginger, tomato, corn, or fruit-bearing trees; or set up a sari-sari store, a trading business or a feed store, among others.

Other ongoing FCF Minerals activities in host communities include the validation of plantation areas to ensure the success of fruit production.

The villages of Aurora, Maddiangat, Dagupan, Boliwao, Caliat and Darubba in this town have been identified as planting sites for fruit-bearing trees such as lanzones, cacao, avocado, guyabano, satsuma orange and rambutan.

Another project is the Community Pan-Tree: "Magtanim Para Sa Kinabukasan, Kumuha Ayon sa Kakayahan" (Mag-alaga) where around 1,300 assorted seedlings were recently given away to 172 individuals including company employees and contractors.

FCF Minerals Corp. operates the Runruno Gold-Molybdenum Project, which is 100-percent owned by the British Metals Exploration. Based on a feasibility study, an average of 96,700 ounces of gold can be extracted yearly over a 10-year period.

The mine has been operating since 2016 and is currently the fourth-largest operating gold mine in the Philippines, Carmichael said.