Category Archives: Underground Mining

WATCH: DENR Sec. Gen. Roy Cimatu addresses foreign business leaders

IN FOCUS: General Roy Cimatu, DENR Secretary
15 June 2017, Makati Shangri-la

1. Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) between Japan & the Philippines
2. Environmental Clearances for Investors
3. Waste to Energy Projects through the aid of foreign countries
4. Water Security through DENR’s National Water Security Roadmap
5. Developments in the Philippine Mining Industry and the new fiscal regime


European Chamber of Commerce (ECCP)
Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCHAM)
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CANCHAM)

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All rights reserved © Maria Paula Tolentino

50 years in the drilling business – QED’s Blackley opens up

Professional Driller Alan Blackley of Quest Exploration Drilling (QED) celebrates more than 50 years in the mining business. He shares his professional insights and life lessons with fellow industry practitioners at the Philippine Mining Luncheon over at the Manila Polo Club.

Get a glimpse of his talk in this video clip –

For his full interview about the Philippine Mining Industry, grab a copy of The Philippine Resources Journal (Issue 2 2017) by Maria Paula Tolentino. Make sure to send her a tweet @misstolentino22

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An Economy Built on Mining – Learning from South Africa

On 11 March 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte says he is willing to let go of the P70-billion earnings the government collects from mining operations. “We can live without it. I would rather follow Gina. Maghanap-buhay na lang tayo ng iba, get the P70 billion somewhere else and preserve the environment. ‘Wag na tayong magbolahan,” he said on Saturday.

P70-billion is no small amount. This is a substantial amount of money which can be used to develop areas and communities that are beyond the reach of the government. A substantial amount of money that can be utilized by the Filipino people whose battle-cry has long been ‘inclusive growth’.

Based on the World Bank for the current 2017 fiscal year, and calculated using the World Bank Atlas method:

Low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita of $1,025 or less.

Lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $4,035. Fifty-two (52) countries including the Philippines are in this bracket.

Upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,036 and $12,475. Fifty-six (56) countries including South Africa are in this bracket.

While High-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,476 or more. Seventy-nine (79) countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States are included in this list.

How can a country such as the Philippines move from a low-income economy to a high-income one? The best way is to take a long hard look at its neighbors.

Though jumping from a low-income economy to a high-income one may be a tall order, and the Philippines using the mining models of Australia, Canada and the US are too idealistic, it would be to the country’s best interest to redirect its gaze to a country with similar trades, businesses and the challenges that go with it. When it comes to minerals development, South Africa is the country closest to the Philippines.

The billion dollar question (no pun intended) which begs to be answered: Can an economy be built on mining?

South African Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Martin Slabber shares with us his insights on what Africa was, to what it is now because of mining. A privileged discussion, this story was crafted in the hopes of giving the Philippine government a glimpse of “what our economy could be” if ethical and responsible mining practices were done in the Philippines.  

For the full story, refer to page 38 of the Philippine Resources Journal with the subject – An economy that was built on mining: How the Philippines can learn from South Africa by Maria Paula Tolentino

For more information about this story, contact its author:
Twitter – @misstolentino22  
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OceanaGold Open Asia’s First Underground Mine Site Simulation in the Philippines

September 8, 2015 [Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga Philippines] – The Philippines is literally the central most location in South East Asia and often referred to as the “Crossroads of Asia” being just 90 minutes away to Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and four hours to Japan, Korea and Singapore. The Philippines is also the 4th largest English speaking country in the World with over 10 million Filipino working overseas. With its low operating costs and abundant English speaking workforce, it was a natural location for the building of Asia’s only Underground Metalliferous Mining Simulator.

The new US$2 million OceanaGold facility, which was delivered in partnership with Site Skills Training, is the first of its kind in the Philippines, and within Asia. Located in the Clark Freeport Zone of Pampanga, Philippines, the 240 square meters state of the art facility produces underground tunnel environment with standbys and drives for jumbo operations, fuel refilling, vehicle storage, a refuge chamber, crib room and magazine replicating the areas with the same equipment found within an underground mine.

Asia's First Underground Mine Site Simulation opens in the Philippines.
Asia’s First Underground Mine Site Simulation opens in the Philippines.
The tunnel leading to the underground mine.
The tunnel leading to the underground mine.
Torches for the trip inside.
Torches for the trip inside.
Safety first. Filipino miners dressed for work.
Safety first. Filipino miners dressed for work.
CEO Wilkes opens the facility inside the tunnel itself.
Oceana Gold CEO Wilkes opens the facility inside the tunnel itself.
A refueling station can be found inside the mine. Here, a car is brought inside the underground mine to get juiced up.
A refueling station can be found inside the mine. Here, a car is brought inside the underground mine to get juiced up.


The author and her colleague getting their safety gear on.
The author and her colleague getting their safety gear on.

OceanaGold constructed this international facility to train competent and highly-skilled underground miners for its Didipio Underground Mine and other national and international recognized companies while providing students an immersive environment to best prepare for the work in an underground mine. In addition to the official opening of the training facility, OceanaGold also introduced the intensive and structured 4 month training course, called the Competency though Learning (CTL) Program which will deliver accredited skills and competence to local-hired students, equip them with necessary skills to be highly proficient underground mine professionals.

Mick Wilkes, Managing Director and CEO, said “the facility demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence in training and to creating more opportunities for future mining professionals. It offers future mining professionals an opportunity to learn and develop their skills in a simulated environment and ensure they are safe and ready to commence work when they arrive on site.”

With the goal of upskilling mining workers to meet the needs of the industry, Asia’s only Underground Metalliferous Mine Simulator provides for an immersive training environment that best prepares workers for real life situations. It also allows workers to be trained to the required level using the correct procedures without affecting production. The aim is to develop globally competitive mining professionals.

About OceanaGold:
OceanaGold is a significant multinational gold producer with mines located in New Zealand and the Philippines. In the Philippines, OceanaGold owns and operates its flagship operation, The Didipio Gold-Copper Mine located on the Island of Luzon. OceanaGold has operated sustainably over the past 25 years with a proven track record for environmental management and community and social engagement. The Company has a strong social license to operate and works collaboratively with its valued stakeholders to identify and invest in social programs that are designed to build capacity and not dependency. In 2015, the Company expects to produce and attribute 380,000 to 410,000 ounces of gold from the combined New Zealand and Didipio operations and produce 22,000 to 23,500 tonnes of copper from the Didipio operation.

About Site Skills Training:
SST delivers Australian recognized and international practice tailored training, assessment and competency assurance for trade specific and industrial skills for clients from training centers and on-site client locations internationally. Aside from the Philippine facility, SST also operates on Australian campuses in Darwin, Gladstone, Perth and the Sunshine Coast.