Recognizing that mining activities and environmental protection can co-exist, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) honored exemplary mining firms during the culminating event of the 67th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference on November 26.

"These awards are not only individual accolades but are actual testimonies that responsible mining is indeed possible and is still alive," said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his keynote speech read by Undersecretary for Attached Agencies, Mining and Muslim Affairs Jim O. Sampulna.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Seda Vertis North in Diliman, Quezon City.

The DENR, through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), has awarded several exploration and operating mining firms and individuals for their commendable initiatives and achievements in environmental management and development, community safety and support, workforce protection, and the upkeep of socially responsible mining operations amid the ongoing pandemic.

It honored recipients of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA), PMIEA Selection Committee (PMIEASC) Platinum and Titanium Achievement Awards, Best Mining Forest Contest, and Safest Mines Awards.

Outstanding mining workers were also awarded Mines' Best Personalities.

"Truly, the mining industry has not only wholeheartedly taken on the challenge set upon you in 2018, which is to reinvent mining, but has definitely succeeded by providing benefits for greater Filipino citizens, and being compliant with the laws on protection and conservation of the country’s natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations," said Cimatu, who is also the co-chair of the PMIEASC.

Due to restrictions brought by the pandemic, evaluations, deliberations, and offsite validations were conducted by the PMIEASC, Mining Forest Program-National Executive Committee (MFP-NEC), and their respective Technical Working Group and Technical Secretariat, from October 4-27, 2021, covering 27 mining and mineral processing companies for the PMIEA, 30 for the Best Mining Forest Contest, and 34 for the Safest Mines Awards.

"The offsite validation we conducted also resulted in the most number of awardees. This signifies that responsible mining is more than just a catchphrase or slogan, that it is not something to be practiced only when convenient. Rather, this is something that the mineros take very much to heart," DENR-MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano said.

Established in 1997 pursuant to Executive Order No. 399, the PMIEA is awarded to mining and exploration firms with outstanding initiatives and implemented programs on environmental protection and enhancement of mining areas, development of the host and neighboring communities, land use improvement, exploration, and mining site rehabilitation and final decommissioning.

The nine PMIEA awardees were: Agata Mining Ventures Inc., Berong Nickel Corp., Hinatuan Mining Corp.-Tagana-an, Platinum Group Metals Corp., and Taganito Mining Corp. for the Surface Mining Operation Category; Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc.-Bulacan for the Quarry Operation Category; and Coral Bay Nickel Corp., Mindanao Mineral Processing & Refining Corp., and Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp. for the Mineral Processing Category.

Meanwhile, 12 PMIEASC Platinum Achievement awardees and three PMIEASC Titanium Achievement Awardees were also recognized.

These mining companies are those who fell short of the required rating for the PMIEA but attained a high degree of performance in safety and health, environmental management, and social development and management.

In recognition of the excellent performance of mining contractors, permit holders, and permittees in the implementation of their Mining Forest Program pursuant to the DENR Administrative Order No. 22, series of 1989, the four Best Mining Forest awardees were Hinatuan Mining Corp.-Tagana-an (Metallic Category), Holcim Resources Development Corp. (Non-Metallic Category), Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp., (Mineral Processing Plant Category), and Philex Mining Corp. (Exploration Category).

Meanwhile, four runners-up under the Metallic Category and three each under Non-Metallic, and Mineral Processing Plant categories were also recognized, respectively.

For successfully achieving the objective of the national campaign against occupational and environmental hazards in mining and its related operations, the nine Safest Mines awardees were: Apex Mining Company Inc. for Safest Exploration A; Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc.-Batangas for Safest Quarry Operation; Hinatuan Mining Corp.-Tagana-an for Safest Surface Mining Operation; Apex Mining Company Inc. for Safest Underground Mining Operation; Coral Bay Nickel Corp. for Safest Mineral Processing Extraction Plant; Graymont (Philippines) Inc. for Safest Mineral Processing Calcining Plant; Philippine Mining Service Corp.-Bohol Plant for Safest Mineral Processing Crushing Plant; Hinatuan Mining Corp.-Tagana-an for Safest Mining Operation; and Apex Mining Company Inc. for Most Improved Mining Operation.

Five runners-up under several categories of the Safest Mines Awards also received plaques.

Safety inspectors, mine supervisors, and miners who have displayed excellence in the promotion and application of mine safety and health in their workplace were also awarded for the Mines’ Best Personalities.

The awardees include surface miner Jennifer Inting and surface safety inspector Aldrin Resullar of Hinatuan Mining Corp.-Tagana-an; surface mine supervisor John Darwin Amag of Agata Mining Ventures Inc.; and underground safety inspector Ronnie Rojo, underground mine supervisor Johary Unggel, and underground miner Marvin Badayos of Apex Mining Company Inc.

With the theme, "Pusong Minero: The Quiet Heroes of the Pandemic," the awarding ceremony was led by the DENR-MGB in cooperation with the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association. ###