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After 11 years, the ISO 14001:2004 has been replaced by ISO 14001:2015, which requires the “context of the organization” and the “actions to address risks and opportunities” against the “environmental targets,”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.