PHILEX ACHIEVES DOUBLE ITS 2017 REFO-PROGRAM TARGET   144,714 trees, other floras planted in 110 hectares of land in Tuba, Itogon

PHILEX ACHIEVES DOUBLE ITS 2017 REFO-PROGRAM TARGET 144,714 trees, other floras planted in 110 hectares of land in Tuba, Itogon

Press Releases

On the way to tree planting: Philex employees doing their share in environmental protection

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. had more than double the area it had targeted for reforestation in 2017, planting 144,714 trees and other floras in 110 hectares (ha.) of land in Tuba and Itogon—the two municipalities that host its gold-and-copper operations in this province—between July and October.

With a 90-percent survival rate, last year’s environmental-protection program also covered new refo areas and those being rehabilitated—replanted to replace the seedlings that did not survive in the previous reforestation programs, which run between three and five years.

Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at the Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED) of the company’s Padcal mine, in Tuba’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, said in a report that about 2,000 of the total number of trees and other tropical plants used last year had been donated to the outlying communities.

“Our refo program does not only involve us and our contractors planting trees in our host municipalities, but also us donating seedlings to local governments, schools, and other institutions that have established projects on and are adamant about environmental protection,” Julius Bayogan, EQMED manager, said in an interview.

He also said the 2017 reforestation program—which had been designed to reforest 50 ha. of land with 83,350 trees only—involved the planting of the forest trees Benguet pine, kupang, narra, gmelina, teak, ipil-ipil, and antsoan dilau; the medicinal trees eucalyptus and dapdap; the fruit-bearing trees avocadao, bugnay (local wild berry), jackfruit, and guava; the tropical flowering plants bougainvillea, calliandra, and coffee; and vetiver, a bunchgrass used to prevent soil erosion.

In his report updated toward end-2017, Mocate said it was Padcal mine’s different departments and faculty members of the Saint Louis High School – Philex and the Philex Mines Elementary School that had kicked off the planting of trees and tropical plants—a project worth at least P900,000—and reinforced through the company’s engagement of 10 contractors, each with a team of at least five people.

Philex Mining, which has won numerous awards for its various projects on environmental protection, had allotted for its 2017 refo program P345,968 for the maintenance of 50 ha. of land that was on its second year of reforestation, another P637,215 for 100 ha. of reforested land on its third year, and P210,000 for the 75 ha. on its fifth year of reforestation.

Its latest environmental award was given last November by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) as a first runner-up in the Exploration Category of a government-initiated reforestation contest. In formal ceremonies held during PMSEA’s 64th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference, in Baguio City, Philex Mining was honoured for its reforestation program of the disturbed areas at its two production-sharing agreements with the government and in connection with its Padcal operations in this province.

After spending close to P70 million for its reforestation activities in the outlying communities—both host (Brgy. Camp 3, in Tuba, and Brgy. Ampucao, in Itogon) and neighboring villages (Brgys. Camp 1 and Ansagan, Tuba, and Brgy. Dalupirip, Itogon)—for 30 years, the company has reforested about 3,000 ha. of land in its host municipalities.

Before 1987, Philex Mining had pursued in the 1960s a community-based reforestation program, which served as a livelihood project for some of its stakeholders.

 

 

Philex grants 30 new college scholarships

Philex grants 30 new college scholarships

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation has awarded 30 new college scholarships to beneficiaries in the host and neighboring villages of its Padcal mine in this province, bringing to 95 the total number of scholars for the current academic year enrolled in various schools in Baguio City and Benguet and nearby Pangasinan and Nueva Vizcaya.

Except for six old scholars who failed to achieve the grade-weighted average required by the company, who now receive a 75-percent financial assistance, the rest of the scholars enjoy free full tuition, book allowance, and monthly stipend.

“We are very proud of this program, as everybody agrees on the importance of education for the future of an individual, his or her family, the community, and the whole society,” Philex Chief Executive Officer and president Eulalio Austin, Jr. said. 

The number of new scholars may increase as there are four other applications undergoing screening, according to Aurora Dolipas, manager of Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Department.

The company earlier set aside P14.4 million for its scholarship program for college, high school, and elementary students, as well as for those in the technical/vocational courses.

Last year, Philex Mining allotted P11.8 M for its 114 full college and 24 tech-voc scholars; 374 students in elementary and high school who received educational subsidies; and 130 secondary students who were given education assistance (monthly monetary allowance).

ComRel’s Crisel Alberto-Rosado said the first semester of school year 2017-2018 has 64 full college scholars and five others enjoy financial assistance through the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), while 25 full scholars and one other receive financial assistance through the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences.

This year Philex Mining saw 24 of its college scholars graduating in various disciplines, while seven other scholars have finished tech-voc courses. 

The company has also provided scholarships to 90 students in senior high school (grades 11 and 12) and 140 students in junior high school (grades 7 to 10).

About 200 high school students and 300 elementary pupils, on the other hand, were awarded educational subsidies.

Philex Mining supports, runs in IBP Marathon

Philex Mining supports, runs in IBP Marathon

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Supporting sports events as part of its advocacy for a healthy and holistic lifestyle, Philex Mining Corporation through its Padcal mine in this province, took part in the recently concluded fun run organized by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Baguio City-Benguet Chapter where two of the 34 candidates it fielded finished as major winners in their respective categories.

Beverly San Juan, a Grade 9 student at the Saint Louis High School-Philex, was the champion among the girls in the 3-kilometer (3K) run, while Eunice Bacoco, an underground safety engineer at Padcal’s Safety/Loss Control Division, placed second among the 5K female finishers in the “2nd IBP Baguio-Benguet Law Run,” which started and finished at the Melvin Jones Grandstand, in Baguio City’s Burnham Park, on Saturday, Sept. 30.

WINNERS. Beverly San Juan (left), the champion among the girls in the 3-kilometer (3K) run and Eunice Bacoco, the second placer among the 5K female finishers of the 2nd IBP Baguio-Benguet Law Run, posses for a shot. Contributed photo.

“We are glad that we were able to extend our support and participate in this worthy endeavor by our friends in the law profession in Baguio City and the whole of Benguet,” Eduardo Aratas, manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, said after the event, where he ran in the 3K category. “We look forward to running again with the IBP next year. While we have our own annual sports fest and other sporting events at the mine camp, we still go out of our way to support similar activities.”

Philex Mining also supported the maiden “Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) – Benguet Fun Run,” held in the provincial capital of La Trinidad, on June 24, where Rico Arceo, of Padcal’s Legal Dept., finished 8th in the 10K run, clocking 41:40. The company had fielded more than 30 participants in the fun run, which had 130 overall finishers in the 3K, 5K, and 10K categories.

On April 29, Philex Mining hosted the “2nd National Martial Arts Games: An Open Invitational Tournament and Festival of Arnis and Sikaran,” at its Padcal mine’s APP Sports Center, in Tuba’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, where 14 of the company’s 33 players were among the winners who had since been tasked to represent the Philippines at an international martial-arts event in Minsk, Belarus, on Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.

It was the second time for Padcal to host the annual event, where more than 40 of the 120 participants had won awards in the white and black belt divisions as well as other categories of arnis, a Filipino national sport and martial art using a rounded stick of rattan or wood, and sikaran, where players use their feet only during a fight match. Arnis is becoming popular even in other countries, with Arnis Philippines, a group of martial artists headed by Jonathan Abaya, having chapters in Japan, the US, Nepal, Australia, Iran, and India.

Philex PR.

 

Philex graduates 1st batch of geologic aides

Philex graduates 1st batch of geologic aides

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Adhering to its mandate of helping improve the industry it belongs in through R&D, or research and development, as well as seminars and workshops, Philex Mining Corp. has recently facilitated the completion of training and/or retraining by 23 geologic aides through a company-organized, -funded, and -run program, which espouses continuous learning that leads to “better life situations” for the participants and graduates.

“I support and agree to continue this program provided there are interested trainees,” said the company’s CEO and president, Eulalio Austin, Jr., in a speech during formal ceremonies to honor the first graduates of the Geologic Aide Training Academy (GATA), held Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Social Hall of Saint Louis High School  Philex, in Itogon’s barangay Ampucao. “We must not forget that education is the greatest inheritance we can have.”

Roy Ronald Luis, manager at Padcal’s Exploration Group, said the program had focused on improving the skills set of the company’s geologic aides and other participants and, consequently, on developing the information dissemination of exploration activities to the communities concerned.

“Geologists of ongoing exploration activities on the different sites of Philex Mining’s MPSA-156 needed more skilled geologic aides to assist them in the conduct of field activities,” he stressed. “And the company’s current geologic aides also required refresher and additional training covering a wide range of subjects to satisfy the different needs of the ongoing exploration projects.”

MPSA, or Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, 156 as well as the company’s MPSA 276 cover more than 5,010 hectares (has.) of land in Tuba and Itogon, but Philex Mining utilizes a measly 580-ha. area of these for its mining operations 410 has. for mining facilities and 170 has. for residential and institutional use.

Eleven of the 23 graduates either had worked or have been working at the Geology and Exploration Division, of Philex Mining’s Padcal operations, in this province, while the rest hailed from the different villages of the company’s host municipalities of Tuba and Itogon.

“I congratulate the organizers of this academy, as well as the graduates for having participated in this training program,” Redempta Baluda, VP for Exploration at Philex Mining, said. “Dear graduates, do not stop learning; continuous learning will lead you to better life situations. Learning fulfills your dreams to having a successful life.”

Austin said, “Congratulations to those responsible in organizing and implementing this program, considering our continuing project to extend the mine life of Padcal [beyond 2022] because the chances of opening new sites in other areas are difficult. Thus, we need to continue exploring adjacent communities where people are already familiar with what a mine looks like.”

Luis, who was one of the brains behind GATA, said the program consisted of about 30 sessions that were completed in four months, with materials/booklets and snacks provided free of charge. A team of Philex Mining geologists, on the other hand, had administered the lectures and guided the field works done after office hours and during weekends also pro bono.

He also said that besides being well-equipped to work as geologic aides, the graduates who had learned, among other subjects, structural and geologic mapping, sampling procedures, and drilling could now serve as vehicles for the dissemination of information on Philex Mining’s ongoing exploration projects in their respective villages.

“We congratulate the graduates of this first batch of geologic-aide trainees composed of the dependents of company employees as well as those from the host towns of Tuba and Itogon,” said Aurora Dolipas, manager for Community Relations (ComRel) at Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in Padcal, whose department provided the P209,600-budget for GATA through the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG). “ComRel is more than willing to be a partner in any exploration activities.”

DMTG, which provides for the pursuit and implementation of programs to develop the mining industry, is one of the company’s major programs on CSR, or corporate social responsibility. And as mandated by the mining-industry regulator, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), a government body under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DMTG, the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), and the Information, Education and Communications (IEC) campaign get an annual budget of 1.5 percent of a miner’s total operating costs in the previous year.

Dolipas earlier said P11 million had been set aside by Philex Mining for the 2017 DMTG; P16.6 million for IEC, which is tasked to disseminate information on the benefits derived by society from the mining industry; and P82.9 million for the SDMP, through which the company has implemented its community projects on health, education, livelihood, and public infrastructure.

Ulysses Wais, a community officer at ComRel who used to work as a geologic aide at the Geology and Exploration, took a refresher at GATA and said he looks forward to sharing the knowledge and experience he has acquired to his peers and neighbors in Tuba’s Brgy. Camp 3. “My experience as a dragger, hauler, core-checker, geologic logger, and, now, a community organizer will surely help me continue working in Philex Mining and with my community,” he stressed.

That is the challenge—how to involve the host and neighboring villages in community organizing, negotiations, and social-projects implementation—according to Austin. “I congratulate you, and be the models for the next batch of trainees,” he added, addressing GATA’s newly minted geologic aides, who are all at least high-school graduates.

By HENT

Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

Philex supports ‘National Cleanup Month’

News Related, Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Supporting the government’s celebration of September as the National Cleanup Month, Padcal mine has cleaned up a river at its mine camp that it also “adopted” as part of its environmental-protection program, with officials and employees collecting rubbish from the riverbed and planting bamboos along the riverbanks.

About 90 personnel from Padcal mine’s 15 departments participated in the cleanup of and planting of 200 seedlings of tinik, bayog, and giant bamboos at the Sal-angan River, in Itogon’s Brgy. Ampucao, on Saturday, Sept. 16. Itogon and Tuba are the host towns of the company’s gold-and-copper operations in this province.

“That’s how we do things around here—always bring any environmental-protection project or an event a notch higher,” said Eduardo Aratas, manager of Padcal’s Legal Division, who participated in the cleanup and tree-planting drive, which was also part of the government’s International Coastal Cleanup Weekend Celebration. “Not only did we rid the river of rubbish, but also plant trees.”

In a Sept. 11 letter to Manuel Agcaoili, SVP at Philex Mining and resident manager of Padcal, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), of CAR, or Cordillera Administrative Region, in Baguio City, said, “We would like to request your participation in the Orchestrated Cleanup in the region of rivers, creeks, and waterways. Please participate in the cleanup of your respective adopted waterbody…”

Julius Bayogan, manager of Padcal’s Environmental Quality, Monitoring and Evaluation Dept. (EQMED), said the cleanup of Sal-angan River and other waterways at the mine camp has been a regular activity for Philex Mining, which has been in the forefront of environmental protection and community development over the past more than six decades of practicing responsible mining conscientiously.

He said the 90 Padcal personnel had collected 15 sacks of rubbish from the riverbed, eight sacks of which were residual wastes, four sacks of plastic bottles, two sacks of tin cans, one sack of various rubber items like slippers, hoses, and boots.

“Those items that were recyclable have been donated to the residents in nearby villages, while the residual wastes had been brought to our sanitary landfill at the decommissioned and rehabilitated TSF2, or Tailings Storage Facility No. 2, also in Brgy. Ampucao,” added Bayogan, who led the four-hour cleanup of the 2-kilometer Sal-angan River. 

He explained that residual wastes include what remains of agricultural, industrial, and mining materials after a treatment process, as well as household trash that cannot be reused or recycled.

On Sept. 19, 2016, Bayogan also led the general cleanup of the Sal-angan River—Padcal’s water source for its mill operation—where the volunteers collected 465 kilograms of waste, 382.5 kg. of which were residual, 45 kg. were biodegradable, and 37.5 kg. were recyclable.

He said the Sal-angan River was “adopted” years ago by Philex Mining to be part of its cleanup drive of waterways and other surroundings at the mine camp.

Last year’s event was also in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Bayan Ko, Linis Ko” (“My Country, My Cleanup”), which promoted cleanliness in coastal and inland waterways, creeks, public places, and private establishments nationwide.

 

Scholars Pay Homage to Philex Mining

Scholars Pay Homage to Philex Mining

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet – Only the two of them graduated out of the 20 students who had taken up mining engineering in a batch of scholars. The rest had either shifted to other academic disciplines but remained as scholars or lost their scholarships after they failed to make the cutoff grade-weighted average and other requirements by Philex Mining Corp.

One of the two graduates landed on the top 10 among the 281 passers-out of the 317 examinees who took the board exams administered in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Legazpi by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), on Aug. 8 – 10.

“I am proud to say that I was a scholar of Philex Mining,” said Myla Jane Mangoltad, who graduated cum laude and placed 10th in the board exams, in an interview. “This provided a lot of benefits: first is the financial aspect, as Philex Mining became the partner of my parents and I in attaining my degree; second is the bond me and my co-scholar created together with the management, especially the ComRel [Community Relations Dept., Padcal mine] through the different activities it has implemented for its scholars; and, lastly, is the pride of being a scholar of this prestigious company.”

Mangoltad, 21, and her co-scholar, the 22year-old Jason Adonis, both hail from Tuba, one of the two towns-the other being Itogon-hosting Padcal mine, Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in Benguet. She lives in Sitio Mangga, Brgy. Camp 3, while he is from Sitio Piminggan, Brgy. Ansagan. They both went to Saint Louis University (SLU), in Baguio City, and became Philex scholars in 2013, enjoying free tuition, a monthly stipend, and book allowance.

Stressing that free education is one of the best gifts a company could give to its stakeholders, Eulalio Austin, Jr., CEO and president of Philex Min- ing, said, “And I am so happy and very proud that we are able to provide this to our deserving students. Not only have we adhered to our commitment in community development and environmental protection, we also have secured the future of the youth in our host and neighboring communities through our various education projects.”

The company has for this year set aside P14.4 million for its scholarship grants to college, highschool, and elementary students, as well as for those in the technical/vocational (TechVoc) courses. Last year, it allotted P11.8 million for its 114 full college and 24 TechVoc scholars; 374 students in elementary and high school who received educational subsidies; and 130 secondary students who were given education assistance (monthly monetary allowance).

Philex kicks off planting trees and tropical plants

Philex kicks off planting trees and tropical plants

Press Releases

PHILEX MINING Corp. has so far planted more than 48,000 different tree species and flowering plants in over half of the targeted number of hectares of land in this town and Itogon, the two municipalities hosting its gold-and-copper operations in this province, for this year’s reforestation program.

Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at the Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED) of the company’s Padcal mine, in Tuba Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, said the new tree-planting projects will see massive implementation this month, after which the program is seen to focus on the maintenance of previously reforested areas. 

He said personnel of Padcal mine’s different departments kicked off the planting of trees and tropical plants, a project worth P910,281 that has been reinforced through the company’s engagement of 10 contractors, each with a team of at least 5 people. With a survival rate of 90 percent , this year’s reforestation program, which aims to reforest 50 hectares (has.) of land with 83,350 trees, involves the planting of forest trees Benguet pine, kupang, narra, ipil-ipil, and antsoan dilau; guava, a fruit-tree; and the tropical flowering plants bougainvillea, calliandra, and coffee.

“We are committed to continue marching on with our reforestation program every year, which we have adhered to over the past more than six decades of conscientious and responsible mining,” the company’s CEO and president, Eulalio Austin Jr., said.

Already, Philex Mining has reforested close to 3,000 has. of land in Tuba and Itogon with over 8 million trees planted

Firm grants P1.4-M worth of health insurance to indigents

Firm grants P1.4-M worth of health insurance to indigents

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet — Philex Mining Corp. granted P1.48 million worth of health insurance to 620 individuals, together with their families this year, bringing to P3.4 million the total amount of coverage given to the indigent residents in the outlying communities of its Padcal mine in this province over the past four years.

“We received and still continue to receive so many requests for free health insurance from residents in our host and neighboring villages, and granting them such is our way of being in the frontline of a humanized, conscientious, and responsible mining,” Aurora Dolipas, manager at Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Dept., said.

ComRel’s Crisel Rosado and Mila Salinas, who are part of a team that screens and processes applications for free health insurance, said Philex Mining shelled out P897,600 for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., coverage of 374 individuals last year, P655,200 for 273 beneficiaries in 2015, and P366,000 for 183 people in 2014, when the project was launched.

They stressed spouses and children of the respective beneficiaries were given the same free health-insurance coverage, the funds of which were taken from Padcal’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), one of the three major CSR, or corporate social responsibility, projects being pursued by Philex Mining in line with is adherence to conscientious and responsible mining.

The company is mandated to allot 1.5 percent of its previous year’s total operating expenses for the current year’s SDMP; Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) campaign; and Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG). Of the total allocated budget, SDMP gets the lion share of 75 percent while IEC is given 15 percent and, DMTG, 10 percent. Padcal, the company’s sole operating mine, has two barangays—Camp 3, in Tuba, and Ampucao, in Itogon—for its host communities, as well as three neighboring villages, namely, Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Itogon’s Dalupirip.

These five barangays, with a total population of more than 27,000 in 7,896 households, are collectively referred to as outlying communities.

Rosado and Salinas said of this year’s total beneficiaries, 285 are residents of Barangay Camp 3 while 200 are in Barangay Ampucao, 50 in Barangay Ansagan, 45 in Barangay Camp 1, and 40 in Barangay Dalupirip. As part of its health projects under SDMP, Philex Mining has also held medical and dental missions to remote villages, bringing doctors, dentists, and nurses to the doorsteps of their less fortunate stakeholders and spending hundreds of thousands of pesos for medicines in each visit.

Between 2003 and 2015 alone, Philex Mining had spent P25.2 million for its health-care program in its host and neighboring villages. The company had also constructed health-care centers and sanitary facilities in the outlying communities. (PR) 

Philex completes P40-M 2016 infrastructure projects

Philex completes P40-M 2016 infrastructure projects

Press Releases

TUBA, Benguet — Adhering to its duty of implementing public infrastructure in its host and neighboring communities, Philex Mining Corp. has completed P40.34 million worth of projects like farm-to-market roads, bridges, electrification, and potable water systems from the whole of 2016 until the first half of this year.

The total amount represents 60.23 percent of the P67 million budget allotted for the various infrastructure projects under the company’s 2016 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) according to Aurora Dolipas, manager of the Community Relations (ComRel) Department at Philex Mining’s Padcal mine in the province.

“More projects are ongoing and we have been working very hard to deliver these during the second semester,” she said. “These as much represent our commitment to community development as our adherence to responsible mining over the past more than six decades of operations.”

Marvin Padinay, a civil engineer who works as projects coordinator at ComRel, said a total of 67 projects were delivered to outlying communities (both host and neighboring) last year, worth P24.5 million or 36.58 percent of the 2016 total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.

The construction of a retaining wall in the Tuba barangay of Camp 3 topped all the other projects done last year at P1.58 million and was completed in July 2016. This year, a P3.61-million rehabilitation of a slope protection wall in Itogon’s Sitio Samoyao, Ampucao village, led the two other projects delivered during the second quarter with a combined cost of P5.95 million.

ComRel’s Marvin Agustin, who monitors the infra projects being implemented, earlier said the company completed P15.84 million worth of public infrastructure during the first half of 2017 that was part of the 2016 SDMP, with those delivered between April and June alone amounting to P5.95 million and, for the first quarter, P9.88 million.

Philex Mining had set aside P81.53 million for its 2016 community-development projects under the SDMP, which, besides public infrastructure, also covers free health-care services to stakeholders and medical missions in remote areas; scholarships for students in elementary, high school, college, and technical-vocational; and livelihood programs.

Padcal, Philex Mining’s sole operating mine, has Camp 3 and Ampucao for its host barangays, while its neighboring barangays consist of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Dalupirip (Itogon).

Its final 2016 report on social projects also showed that Philex Mining set aside P16.31 million for its media and public campaign on the benefits derived from mining, and another P10.87 million for the development of the industry.

A large-scale miner is mandated to set aside for the current year an amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of its total operating expenses the previous year. The amount is then divided into 75 percent for SDMP, 15 percent for the Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) campaign, and 10 percent for the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).

Philex Mining had allotted a total of P110 million for its 2016 SDMP, IEC, and DMTG based on its 2015 operating expenses of P7.3 billion. Its SDMP-IEC-DMTG allocation for this year, on the other hand, amounts toP110.48 million. 

Philex spends more for environmental projects

Philex spends more for environmental projects

Press Releases

MANILA, Philippines – Philex Mining Corp. hopes to continue taking care of the environment beyond what is required by law as it spent P89.53 million, or 20.5 percent of its total budget of P436.94 million for this year’s environmental and enhancement projects, including the management of land and water resources, hazardous waste, and air quality, as well as the third-party monitoring of mine facilities.

In a report submitted to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MBG), the gold-and-copper producer said water-resource management, which covers mainly the improvement of its open spillway and the maintenance of the offset dike at its Tailings Storage Facility No. 3 (TSF3), ate up P64.44 million between January and March, or 19.7 percent of its whole-year budget of P326.95 million.

It also told the MGB, a mining-industry regulator under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), that it spent P23.67 million for the various reforestation and forest-protection projects for the first three months, or 24.2 percent of the P97.87-million fund allocated for the land-resource management aspect of its 2017 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP).

 

“We have just started implementing our reforestation projects, as we have done this annually during the rainy season starting from June until December,” Julius Bayogan, manager at the Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. of Philex Mining’s operations in this town’s Sitio Padcal, said. “The other programs are done year-round or as needed.”

He added that spending for the mine rehabilitation and regular monitoring of TSF3 by a multi-sectoral committee reached P692,246 while that of air-quality management amounted to P579,100, both for the first quarter, or 36.41 percent and 22.7 percent of the respective allocated funds of P1.9 million and P2.55 million for the whole year.

“We have 14 sampling stations within the area of our operations and another 12 sampling stations in the adjoining areas of Padcal mine as part of our commitment to follow and implement regulations on clean air and water,” Eulalio Austin Jr., CEO and president of Philex Mining, said.“And we have passed all the water quality standards imposed by both local and international regulatory bodies.”

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Bayogan said money spent for the disposal and treatment of used oil, hospital waste, cupels, asbestos and transformer oil, meanwhile, reached P149,917 between January and March, or almost two percent of P7.67 million allotted for the hazardous- and toxic-waste management under the 2017 Annual EPEP (AEPEP).

Philex Mining SVP and Padcal resident manager Manuel Agcaoili said environment-related expenses for 2016 reached P446 million, or 12 percent of the company’s direct mine and milling costs of P3.696 billion for the same year. In 2015, the company shelled out P269 million for its AEPEP, or 4.5 percent of direct mine and milling costs amounting to over P6 billion.

“This means that we even exceeded what’s required of us in 2016,” he said, adding that the EPEP requires an annual spending of three to five percent of a miner’s direct mine and milling costs for the same year. “And maybe we would do the same for this year.”