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Mining Industry players and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gathered together for SGS Philippines’ first Minerals Development Luncheon last 09 August.

Focused on the three key aspects of minerals development namely Business, People and Sustainability, participants were provided an avenue to learn and discuss solutions on pressing matters.
 

Minerals Development Forum participants 
Minerals industry players and MGB were all "thumbs up" after the discussions held during the Minerals Development Luncheon.

 
“We work with a purpose and that is to make a difference in the industries we serve by helping them achieve sustainability and that’s why we decided to hold this luncheon,”
said Ariel Miranda, SGS PH Managing Director.

SGS in the Philippines presented three comprehensive and innovative packaged solutions covering environmental monitoring, managing systems, and on-site lab management, while the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) represented by Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD) Chief Rodolfo Velasco, Jr. presented updates regarding the country’s mining industry.

 

MGB Updates

Velasco reports that as of today, there are a total of 112 operating mining companies composed of 50 metallic and 62 non-metallic mines.

He adds that a directive to conduct quarterly compliance monitoring of the implementation of MGB approved programs and attached terms and conditions of all mineral agreements and/or permits of all operating mines have been issued by DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The MGB MSESDD Chief showed various mining sites all over the country that have successfully been compliant with the department’s Progressive Rehabilitation and Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan.

 

Responsible Mining

As mining remains to be a topic of critical national interest, Velasco also took the chance to clarify that the government acknowledges the presence of responsible miners in the country.

“If you’re a responsible miner, you follow the permitting system, submit all the requirements being asked from you, and then implement your operations. Once done, you rehabilitate it, to as never as possible to the original area,” Velasco explained.
 

Minerals Development Forum MGB Velasco 
DENR-MGB Chief Rodolfo Velasco, Jr. gives the participants government updates regarding the minerals industry.

 
However, he explains that there may have been some misunderstanding surrounding the subject.

“The problem now is those responsible miners are being tagged as irresponsible. The government is just implementing the rules and regulations. But to change the image of the industry, it should be the mining companies that should be doing it,” Velasco pointed out.

He also emphasized that DENR currently has a positive attitude to hear out the industry’s concerns and discuss solutions.

“The government is and will always be open for discussion on anything that concerns the mining sector,” he assured.

 

Third Party Consultancy

To guide mining companies in their implementation of plans and programs as well as compliance with standards and regulations, Velasco reiterated the importance of getting the consultancy of a third party such as SGS.

“(Mining) companies should coordinate with third party service providers because if they really can’t do it, then they shouldn’t operate,” he said.

Miranda affirmed that SGS Philippines continues to support programs across industries that are geared towards sustainability.

“Our approach now is we really talk to our clients to understand their challenges, issues, operations and their business as a whole. From that, we then discuss possible solutions based on the expertise that we have globally and locally,” he said.

 

About SGS
 
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.