December 04, 2015

By Jose Bayani Baylon
Source: http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/opinion/sure-fire-way-end-mining-forever

LAST week I was invited to be one of the reactors at the ENVICON 2015 at the University of Asia and the Pacific. The presentation I was to react to was a presentation by Dr. Raul Nidoy on Laudato Si, the papal encyclical on climate change; I was tasked to explain how companies in the mineral development industry were responding to the issues raised by the Holy Father, issues that we all collectively confront and that we all must collectively address.

That was something I pointed out: I just had to remark on how inclusive the Papal approach was to climate change, a topic which can get very sensitive and emotional at times, and which also oftentimes results in exclusion rather than inclusion. I happily noted that the fact that I was invited to speak as a representative of Nickel Asia Corporation was itself a major advancement because, I bluntly said, many times many elements of the Roman Catholic Clergy in the Philippines would choose NOT to dialogue with us and would be happier to demonize our sector.

If only the Pope could give them a spanking!

It was an interesting half day of exchange, but what was more interesting to me happened after.

I left the forum. It was while driving back to work that things dawned upon me like a Revelation, and something in my head clicked!

I now know the sure-fire way to end mining, maybe forever, if the anti-mining advocates are serious about their advocacy.

Remember the Animal Rights campaign that had the catchy slogan “If the Buying Stops, the Killing stops too”? This has been used to varying effects in addressing issues such as the killing of furry animals to provide upper class ladies in the West with fur coats to wear to balls, operas, dinners and the like. It has also been used to slow down the demand for shark fin soup.

More successful is the global ban on the ivory trade. While it is too late to save the lives of thousands of elephants especially in Africa, let’s hope the slowdown in killing these gentle giants for their tusks will see a revival of the elephant population around the world.

Think about it: if, as anti-mining advocates insist, there is no such thing as responsible mining, then I have this sure-fire campaign for them to launch, a campaign that will surely end mining for the next, say, 20 years, if not forever. Here is how it goes.

Anti-mining advocates must now campaign for the following for the next 20 years:

1. No new road construction anywhere in the Philippines, under any circumstances. Road construction requires disturbing the environment where the road will pass. It requires cement which can only be produced by quarrying and mining. It requires the use of steel rods, which requires mining.

2. No new building construction anywhere in the Philippines, of any kind, under any circumstances. Like road building, constructing a building disturbs the environment, and requires cement and steel and glass and all that are also products of mining. Oh by the way this applies to schools and hospitals as well as to malls and office buildings.

3. No housing construction anywhere in the Philippines, under any circumstance. For the same reason as number 2. If a typhoon hits, sorry.

4. No new vehicle replacements, applicable to cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, oh even MRT/LRT carriages. Speaking of MRT, we cannot replace the steel tracks on which the cars run as well. Need I be clear that all of these are products of mining? No new aircraft and ships as well.

5. Hold on to your latest mobile phone. It is what you will use for the next twenty years. Buy your flat screen TVs now and keep them for the next twenty years. Same goes for your washing machines, rice cookers, air conditioning units, and all other household appliances. No mining means no production.

6. No new equipment for hospitals and airports. Get your medical procedures done now, while equipment are still new. As for airports, train the pilots now to be able to fly using basic equipment and visual skills. And using the planets as guide.

I can go on, but if the anti-mining advocates launch this campaign now, I tell you: we will kill the mining industry in no time. Of course we will also kill the retail industry and shut down our malls, but we also cut down on traffic and on all kinds of pollution: water, air and even noise pollution.

Then again you might say this sound silly. And you’ll be wrong, It isn’t silly. It is the logical result of anyone and everyone who insist that ALL mining is bad and ALL mining must be stopped. And silly is not the word for such a position. Stupid sounds more like it. Because it is very clear that we could have not progressed from the time Homo sapiens first emerged from their caves to today’s live births in hospitals if not for advancements in our lives that mining made possible. Indeed if not for the products of mining we could have early on been wiped off the face of the planet due to a simple viral infection, or some natural calamity.

Which may not have been a bad thing, yes?

So let’s wait and see if the truly committed anti-mining advocates pick this up, because if they don’t then let’s begin to question their sincerity to their cause.

As for me, my point of view is simple. Responsible mining brings real progress.

By Mary Ann Tenorio, MGB Regional Office No. XII - IEC

In view of the order issued by the Bureau Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Leo L. Jasareno to the area expansion of Holcim Phils. Inc. (Holcim) under Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No. 274-2008-XII located in Davao City, an information campaign was conducted by MGB Regional Office XII to the local government units on the areas affected by the expansion within the region.

On his welcome message, Regional Director Constancio A. Paye, Jr. explained the legal basis on the area expansion. He informed that Department Administrative Order No. 2014-06 allows operating mines with viable economic deposits to expand their contract areas subject to validation of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) through its Technical Working Group on Environmental Protection which the MGB is part of.

Holcim group led by its Vismin head, Mr. Cilor Guevarra presented the company’s exploration, environmental and community development programs on their Maasim project covering 425.1146 hectares.

In attendance were the chief executive officials, board and sanggunian members, department heads, provincial representatives, barangay council members from province of Sarangani, municipality of Maasim and Barangay Tinoto on November 25, 2015 at Sarangani Highlands Garden, General Santos City.

Holcim Phils. Inc. was granted green light on its application for area expansion covering MPSA applications denominated as APSA No. 032-XII-1997 in Maasim, Sarangani and APSA No. 000107-XI in Davao City after substantial compliance with the pertinent requirements for area expansion, including the required field verification pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order (EO) No. 79 and its implementing rules and regulations.

The order was signed on July 14, 2015 with authority from the DENR Secretary expanding the area of MPSA No. 274-2008-XI by annexing the areas covered by its MPSA applications within regions XI & XII under the same terms and conditions provided under the approved MPSA.

By Mary Ann Tenorio, MGB Regional Office No. XII - IEC

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region XII presents the proposed establishment of Mineral Reservation Project to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Sarangani during their 43rd regular session on November 10, 2015 at the Provincial Capitol, Alabel, Sarangani.

The presentation is part of the consultation with all concerned stakeholders on the proposed establishment of a mineral reservation project at some barangays of the municipalities of Maitum and Kiamba.

Engr. Hernani G. Abdon of the Mine Management Division led the presentation to 9 sanggunian members, staff of the vice governor’s office, media communications group of the province and the local media. Regional Director Constancio A. Paye, Jr. meanwhile briefed the members on the benefits derived once declared as mineral reservation. He informed that a five (5%) royalty payment will be collected from the mining companies on the market value of the gross output of minerals to accrue to the national and the concerned local government units. And the twenty-five (25%) of the declared area can be set aside for the establishment of a Minahang Bayan (MB). The reforms on the mining sector instituted in Executive Order No. 79 confines all small scale mining operations to be undertaken only within the declared People’s Small Scale Mining Areas or Minahang Bayan (MB).

Paye emphasized that the presentation aimed to seek favorable recommendation or endorsement on the proposed project from the sanggunian.

Prior to the SP, MGB XII had already conducted presentations to the respective Sanggunian Bayans of Kiamba and Maitum.


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