The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Central Office conducted a Stakeholders’ Forum entitled “Understanding Policy Issuances Relating to Mining and Best Practices in Mining and Processing that Promote Responsible Mining,” last June 29 and 30 at the La Breza Hotel in Quezon City.

The Forum was attended by representatives from national government agencies, local government units, mining companies, students, academe, media, civil society, and non-government organizations.

The Forum aimed to raise the awareness of MGB stakeholders on the salient features of recent policies in mining with the end view of partnering better with them in advocating for responsible mining.  The Forum also addressed, in a simple and scientific way, the false impressions about the mining industry.

In his opening speech, Undersecretary and Concurrent MGB Director Mario Luis J. Jacinto said the MGB will identify and assess new mineral reservations, which can be possible for mining. He also addressed the issue of mining areas in watersheds and the possible contamination of water.

Jacinto made it clear that the MGB hydrogeologists are working on a study to determine where critical watersheds are located and will design measures on how to protect them. He also reiterated that mining activities should benefit the communities and the local government.

Jacinto assured that the MGB is streamlining its operations to improve the application process for Mineral Processing Permits and have a clear list of requirements for this.

Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Professor and Deputy Director of the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences, debunked the misconceptions against mining during his discussion. Among the points he emphasized was the comparison between mining operations and a building that is still being constructed. Just like mining operations, the building might look ugly because it is unfinished. Similarly, mining operations will not look good until the area is fully rehabilitated, just like a finished building. “Unless there is rehabilitation, mining is not finished yet,”Arcilla said.

Mr. Gerard H. Brimo, President of Rio Tuba Mining Corporation, shared his company’s best practices in mining and how the company is implementing responsible mining in its Rio Tuba operations in Bataraza, Palawan.  As a result, it has improved the town’s situation over the years, in terms of infrastructure, education, healthcare services, employment, livelihood, tax payments and revenues. He also showcased the areas that have been rehabilitated, current rehabilitation areas, and how the company is maintaining the quality of water in the area, which proves that responsible mining is possible and it exists.

 In his presentation, Dr. Jose P. Leviste, Jr., OceanaGold Chairman, discussed best practices in mineral processing, specifically at OceanaGold’s Didipio Processing Plant, which was first commissioned in 2012 and had its first commercial production on April 1, 2013.

Atty. Maria Karla Espinosa, National Coordinator for Philippine Extractive Industries Initiative (PH-EITI), presented an overview of the organization and its key findings for the 3rd PH-EITI Report, FY 2014.

Other speakers from the MGB Central Office included Engr. Larry Heradez, OIC-Chief, Legal Service Division, who discussed the new policy issuances on mining, Mr. Gaudencio C. Crisostomo, Jr. who discussed the recently launched MGB Central Database Portal and Supervising Geologist Raymond P. Ancog who discussed geological hazards in the country. Metallurgical Technology Division Chief Engr. Juancho Pablo S. Calvez did the closing remarks for both days.

The Stakeholders’ Forum is an annual event being held by the MGB Central Office as part of its information drive to promote responsible mining in the country.

By: Mineral Economics, Information and Publications Division

Stakeholders Forum 1 June 30 2017 Undersecretary and Concurrent MGB Director Mario LuisJ. Jacinto during his opening remarks on the second day of the forum

Stakeholders Forum 5 June 30 2017 Atty. Maria Karla  L. Espinosa discussing EITI matters

Stakeholders Forum 6 June 30 2017 Mr. Gerard H. Brimo presenting the best practices in their Rio Tuba mining operations in Palawan.

Stakeholders Forum 10 June 30 2017  

Mr. Jose P. Leviste, Jr sharing their best practices in processing at Didipio operations. 

Stakeholders Forum 8 June 30 2017 MGB Supervising geologist Mr. Raymond P. Ancog explaining geological hazards in the country

 Stakeholders Forum 9 June 30 2017  MGB Metallurgical Technology Division Chief Engr. Juancho Pablo S. Calvez doing the closing remarks

Stakeholders Forum 7 June 30 2017 Engr. Larry H. Heradez, Atty. Maria Karla L. Espinosa and Mr. Gaudencio C. Crisostomo, Jr during the open forum

Stakeholders Forum 4 June 30 2017 Participants during the first day of the forum - June 29, 2017

Stakeholders Forum 3 June 30 2017 Participants during the second day of the forum - June 30, 2017