Snapshots of OceanaGold’s Didipio Progress

Didipio Progress: A Mine Site Coverage

These are just a compilation of some photos taken during the mine site coverage of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. at Brgy. Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya from 26 – 30 June 2017. More of this story will be discussed further by Paula Tolentino.

 

Didipio Progress: A glimpse of the Open Pit Mine at Brgy. Didipio Nueva Vizcaya

This video was shot right smack on the mouth of the open pit mine at Brgy. Didipio, the OceanaGold Mining Project. The scale and magnitude of what the human mind can achieve is awe-inspiring.

#ResponsibleMining #PhilippineMining #Mining

SPOOF: How to epicly fail in wearing your PPEs

During an underground mine tour, our group was required to wear PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment). I had to finally ask help with wearing mine. This epic fail from my end was embarrassing and hilarious 🙂

 

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All content © Maria Paula Tolentino

Duterte a NO-SHOW on Davao Mining Conference, MGB Jacinto explains

24 June 2017, Davao City – MGB Concurrent Director Mario Luis Jacinto wears three hats on the anticipated Mining Engineers conference in Davao City – His, DENR Cimatu’s and President Rodrigo Duterte’s.

The Concurrent Director also gives a hint, not only on the content of the DENR secretary’s speech, but what the Duterte administration really thinks of mining.

WATCH THE CLIP HERE:

Open Pit Mines as Assets for Ecotourism and Waste to Energy (WTE) Projects

During a recent Q&A with the DENR Secretary and his team on 15 June 2017 at Makati-Shangri-la, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) President Isidro ‘Butch’ C. Alcantara brought into light the potential of rehabilitated open pit mines to become assets for ecotourism and waste to energy projects.

Alcantara added that since mining companies will eventually have to give up their rights on the open pit mines after rehabilitation, there are currently NO CLEAR RULES & GUIDELINES as to the handover of responsibility on the implementation of future projects once these mines have finished operations.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said it is working in close coordination with the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and is reviewing these open pit mines to become sanitary landfills after mine rehabilitation.

However, Alcantara was quick to add that “… it’s not just landfill. Some of them are really good prospects for ecotourism and waste to energy (projects)”.

For the full story, refer to the video clip below:

Business as usual for Philippine miners?

General Roy Cimatu is in, and so are the Chinese.  The connection? Mining.

This week, both the Philippines and China inked six deals that covered mutual cooperation in the areas of logistics, mining exports, hydro power energy, tourism, as well as charter flights.

It was interesting to note that local miner Carrascal Nickel Corp​. was in the loop.

carrascal-nickel

“This business deal involves the export of laterite nickel ore to China by Carrascal Nickel Corp​ via the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group Co. Ltd.

CNC will supply no less than 1.5 million tons of laterite nickel ore to subordinate companies designated by the Port Group.” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 25 May 2017)

Carrascal Nickel Corp​. was previously recommended for closure by the former DENR Secretary and Environmentalist, Regina Lopez.

Based on Special Order 2016 – 655 last 8 Nov. 2016, the MGB findings on CNC were the following:
CNC is liable to pay for fines with the implementation of corrective measures (MPSA NO 243-2007-XIII (SMR)). EMB Regional Office is to file appropriate charges in the Pollution Adjudication Board for violation of RA no. 9275 or the “Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004”. Fines include Php 61,600 for the MGB, and Php 100,000 for the EMB.  

The fines? Pocket change. But what about the RA violation?

While Lopez has already been booted out by the Commission of Appointments, the mining companies she has recommended for suspension and closure still have to undergo MICC’s review.

And though the industry can breath a bit easy with the new DENR Chief (General Roy Cimatu), does this mean that it’s business as usual for those previously recommended for suspension and closure?

Note that during Lopez’s CA hearings, the mining companies CNC included, complained that they were not given due process during the mine site audit.

If indeed that this MICC review is already taking place, is it fair enough to assume that no deals be done yet while MICC is still reviewing each case?  Why is CNC signing a deal with our Chinese neighbors, as if it’s already in the bag? Where is the due process?

 

REFERENCES: 
Philippine-Chinese firms ink business deals. 

 

 

A throwback to Rio Tuba Nickel Mine

Midst all the controversy the mining industry is going through, I couldn’t help but look back on the stories I’ve done for the industry as a whole.

Nickel Asia Corporation was my first mine. It was also what set the benchmark earlier on in my profession as a Journalist, what an ethically-run mine looked like.

Once you’ve seen the best, it would be beneath anyone to look for anything less. The standards they’ve set up for their employees, adopted communities and IPs, operations, health and safety are extremely hard to live up to.

Allow me to get this out: This is by no means a paid ad. I am only showing you, my dear reader, what it was like for me when I took the plane there and saw for myself how professional mines are run. Together with Diwata & Atty. Patricia Bunye, I am glad I took that trip years ago.


The night of 16 July 2014, typhoon Glenda  with international name Rammasun, struck the country with ferocity. My colleagues from Diwata waited restlessly for the airline companies to cancel flights. No announcement came.

First thing on the morning of 17 July, we all flew to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to visit nickel mining company Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation at their mine site in Bataraza.

The 1 hour flight was uneventful. The road trip was a different story. The party I was with were going topsy-turvy in their seats because of the rough road with bags flying everywhere. It was a hilarious and glorious 4 hours of rough road!

What awaited us when we arrived at the hotel was a quick break and a shower. Eventually we all had to head out to explore the mine site, the communities and learn what mining has really done for that small patch of Palawan.

Below are  memories captured in photographs.

 

 

I apologize if these photos don’t do much justice for the experience, but this is as far as I can share: You have to go there and see for yourself.

Ask a geologist, engineer or someone from the academe. Ask them what makes a responsible mine. Do your own research.

It’s not enough that you read it on the news or watch it on TV or the internet. Ignorance is dangerous and we cannot afford ignorance right now especially if millions of lives hang on the balance.

Even before the term ‘responsible mining’ was trendy, Rio Tuba was already at the forefront. It may have been my first mine, but it certainly won’t be my last.

 

Liked this story? please contact the Author:
MARIA PAULA TOLENTINO
mpatolentino at gmail dot com