- (Front row) Bolante, Manzo, and Pamintuan (holding white hard hat) pose for a souvenir photo with the Padcal managers at the Philex Guest House. On the extreme right are Aratas and Mangali
TUBA, Benguet – Having passed with flying colors a previous technical audit done by government on its operations, Philex Mining Corp. is now the “benchmark” for an “objective, fact-finding, and science-based process” of review to be conducted by an interagency tasked to recommend policies to improve the mining sector.
“It’s not going back to the review, but moving forward,” Gabriel Pamintuan, a consultant for the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), said during a visit at Padcal mine, Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in the Benguet towns of Tuba and Itogon.
He expressed this clarification on Sunday, March 4, as part of a five-man team from DAP—a state-run economic development agency tasked by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to review this year the performance of operating mines—that visited the Padcal mine camp, and to dispel any idea that there is a technical re-audit to be done.
“The review is intended to be an objective, fact-finding, and science-based process to identify interventions that would effectively address existing mining issues and concerns, and to recommend policy measures that will further improve the management and regulation to ensure the development of a more sustainable and responsible mining sector,” Winnie Manzo, project manager at DAP, said in a letter, dated Feb. 19, to Philex Mining AVP and Padcal Asst. Manager Roy Mangali. “The review shall cover the performance [of] mining companies in the technical, legal, social, environment, and economic aspects.”
Manzo, who was with the five-man team, added in her letter, “Philex Mining is not one of the mining companies to be reviewed in this initial batch. However, we would like to visit your mining site as a benchmark for us.”
(MANILA, PHILIPPINES) – Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia and a leader in right and principled mining in the country, recently garnered top honors under the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) for 2017, making it one of the top Philippine publicly-listed companies (PLCs) overall. On hand to receive the award in ceremonies held at the Tower Club in Makati was Danny Yu (3rd from right), Philex Senior Vice-President for Finance, Chief Finance Officer, and Chief Corporate Governance Officer, together with Atty. Salvador Paolo Panelo Jr. (leftmost), Philex Assistant Corporate Secretary, and members of the Philex Corporate Finance team. The ACGS is an instrument for the assessment and ranking of PLCs in 6 participating ASEAN countries. In the Philippines the assessment of PLCs under the ACGS is conducted by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) as the domestic ranking body (DRB) duly appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Philex Mining garnered a score range of 100 and above, the only mining company to have done so. 30
(MANILA, PHILIPPINES) – Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia and a leader in right and principled mining in the country, recently won in the 16th Philippine Quill Awards for its 2016 Sustainability Report entitled “Enriching Resources, Driving Progress”. This is not the first time that the company has won in this annual award set by the International Association for Business Communicators Philippines (IABC Philippines) as recognition for achieving the highest global standard in business communications practices. Receiving the award for Philex at ceremonies held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City were: (L-R) Geraldine Ateo-an, Division Manager for Internal Audit; Roy P. Mangali, Assistant Vice-President and Assistant Resident Manager, Padcal Mine; and Marie Aurora Dolipas, Community Relations Manager, Padcal Mine. 30
TUBA, Benguet – BRINGING HOME THE BACON: Joel Ochoco (middle, with eyeglasses, back row), safety surface supervisor at Padcal mine’s Safety/Loss Control Dept., poses for a souvenir photo, on Wednesday, June 20, with Philex Mining Corp.’s delegates, whom he coached, to the Regional Fire Olympics 2018, in the Abra capital of Bangued, where they win three major awards—Fire Extinguishment, Combination of Busted Hose and Up-the-Ladder, and Rescue-and-Transfer Relay—in the Industrial Category. Also in photo are Philex Mining’s Brett Dales Maslang (2nd, R) and Elaine Thea Lumibao (to Maslang’s right), winners of the Mr. & Ms. Regional Fire Olympics 2018, Industrial Category, held Tuesday, June 19, at the Abra Sports Complex (ASC), in Bangued, about 210 kilometers from this town. Last year, Philex Mining’s Jenalyn Rodas (4th, R), a mechanical engineer at the company’s Mill Div., in Padcal, won the Miss National Fire Olympics crown after two nights (March 23 – 24) of a grueling competition held in Metro Manila’s Quezon City. This year’s Philex Mining delegates represented the Industrial Category – Benguet to the three-day CAR Regional Fire Olympics 2018, where they competed against the other teams from Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, and Apayao. The event was hosted by the BFP-Abra and held at the ASC.
A reforested area in Brgy. Ampucao’s Sitio Bagbag
TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. has begun reforesting 50 hectares (ha) of land at the host and neighboring villages of Padcal mine, its gold-and-copper operations in this province, for the year’s environmental-protection program amounting to P1.62 million.
“Protecting the environment in various forms, such as reforestation, has become our habit, not just following what is required of us by the government regulators,” Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and assistant resident manager of Padcal mine, said.
This year’s reforestation-and-maintenance activity kicked off June 19 at the roadside close to the Bumolo project, in Itogon town’s Brgy. Ampucao, where the company had drilled holes as part of its exploration activities, Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at Padcal’s Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED), said.
The initial areas planted with forest trees, fruit-bearing trees, and tropical plants included the Central Saddle area at the mine camp in Tuba town’s Brgy. Camp 3, as well as the roadside going toward the subsidence area in the same barangay.
Mocate also said that eight personnel from the EQMED as well as 17 contracted workers carried out the initial tree-planting activity, which includes the replanting of 15 percent of the 50-ha areas that had been reforested last year. These workers will soon be joined by Philex Mining officials and other employees for the planting seedlings in other areas.
TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. has been “recertified” for its Integrated Management System (IMS) by a worldwide provider of technical services after it passed the two previous “surveillance audits” following the company’s migration to the latest international standard on environmental management.
This according to Joven Maxion, IMS manager of Philex Mining at Padcal mine, its gold-and-copper operations in Benguet, in an interview after the May 31 exit conference held at the company’s Smith Hall, in Tuba’s Brgy. Camp 3, by the miner and the German-based TÜVRheinland, which conducted the four-day audit starting from Monday, May 28.
“We are delighted that we have passed this recertification, after the auditors recommended the ‘award of the new certificates,’ ” he said, following the presentation by the lead auditor, John Francis Faustorilla, Jr.
Having got its first IMS Certificate from TÜVRheinland, in April 2015, this year’s certification standards consist of ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, 14001:2015 and the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001:2007, a British Standard (BS).
After 11 years, the ISO 14001:2004 has been replaced by ISO 14001:2015, which requires the “context of the organization” and the “actions to address risks and opportunities” against the “environmental targets,” “management representative,” and “preventive action” as required by the previous standard.
Djastherite Maxion, logistics coordinator at Padcal mine’s Safety/Loss Control Dept., said the latest standard calls for companies certified against the 2004 revision to transition by Sept. 2018, as the leading certification bodies were scheduled to stop recognizing the previous standard by Sept. 2016.
He added that Philex Mining whose 2018 recertification will have its surveillance audit due by May 31, 2019 missed this year’s official review schedule in March, owing to intense preparations for the transition to ISO 14001:2015 from ISO 14001:2004, thus it had to be recertified.
“The auditors did use random sampling like interviews and documents review, covering environmental-management system and occupational safety,” Djastherite Maxion said. “And the scope of certification on safety management includes operations in mining, milling, and tailings storage facilities.”
In a four-page report by the seven-man audit team, the TÜVRheinland, which maintains presence in 65 countries and 36 business fields, said: “The organization has established and maintains an effective system to ensure compliance with its policy and objectives. The audit team confirms in line with the audit targets that the organization’s management system complies with, adequately maintains and implements the requirements of the standards.”
The report stressed, among other things, the need for the company to ensure that internal audits conform to planned arrangements and requirements of the ISO 14001:2015 and the BS OHSAS 18001:2007; include in the management review such items as changes in internal and external issues and changes in risks and opportunities, as well as conclusions on the effectiveness of environmental-management system; and a periodic review of its emergency preparedness and response procedures after certain situations like forest fires or earthquakes.
PHILEX Mining Corp. is focusing on efforts to extend its Padcal gold-copper operation beyond 2022, while the firm considers the possibility of underground mining at its Silangan project.
During the annual stockholders’ meeting on Wednesday in Pasig City, Philex President and CEO Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said upstream expansion will allow the company to mine lower-grade ore from Padcal as its operations have been held back by the depletion of higher grade gold ores.
Padcal’s initial mine life was only up to 2014, and is now expected to end by 2022.
“With the challenges of opening a new mine (Silangan), we are going into upstream expansion by mining lower grade ore and deeper deposits which is now the trend in the mining industry, both in local and abroad,” Mr. Austin said. “This will allow us to sustain our operations. So that we can mine as much low grade ore.”
The company is also exploring other areas near Padcal mine for mineral deposits, while looking for areas to expand the tailing storage facilities which are nearing capacity. These facilities are used to store waste generated from mining activities.
Meanwhile, Philex Mining is looking to go into underground mining at its Silangan project, after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued Department Administrative Order 2017-10 banning open pit mining.
Open pit mining is the usual method used for extracting gold and copper minerals.
Despite delays in the government approval for the Silangan project, Philex Mining Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company hopes to start operations “probably second quarter of next year,” depending on the situation.
“We have asked our independent consultants, one of the leading Australian technical mining consultants to look at the underground mining for Silangan,” he added.
The results of the feasibility study is expected to be released by September.
“But the initial numbers we’ve seen so far indicate that the underground mine will not translate to any significant increase in the overall project cost,” Mr. Pangilinan said. “So at this stage, of course it’s difficult to predict if it’s still feasible but the indications [show that] it could be.”
According to the consultant, the initial estimated cost for underground mining at Silangan is at $750 million, which is more expensive than the project cost for open pit mining estimated at about $700 million.
“That’s a very tentative estimate that we were given. So let’s wait until the end of September by which then the numbers would be more or less by fixed,” Mr. Pangilinan said.
Philex Mining is one of the three local units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the two other being PLDT, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorldthrough the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato
TUBA, Benguet – TOP GRADS: Three Grade VI students of the Philex Mines Elementary School (PMES) awarded with High Honors—Rhainiel Mae Malnag, Ashley Mae Novelozo, Esther Asaph Yaos—pose with their respective parents during a photo-op joined in by Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining Corp. and assistant resident manager of Padcal mine, the company’s gold-and-copper operations in Benguet, and Padcal’s Community Relations Manager Aurora Dolipas, after the school’s “Moving Up Ceremony” for their 2018 graduates, at the PMES grounds at this town’s Brgy. Camp 3, on Wednesday, June 6. A total of 193 students finished their primary studies this year at PMES, which is subsidized by Philex Mining. On Monday, June 4, PMES also held graduation ceremonies for its 163 pupils in kindergarten, while it conducted recognition ceremonies on June 5 for its outstanding pupils from Grades 1 to V.