Philex supports gov’t on clear rules on responsible mining

>> Friday, December 2, 2016

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. has expressed support for government’s call on all miners to be guided by a clear definition of responsible mining—that the utilization of mineral resources be based on technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, social acceptability, and financial viability—so that the industry will move forward based on what is right.
This was stressed by Eulalio Austin, Jr., the company’s CEO and president, in an interview with the state-run PTV-4 and in his speech at the just concluded annual mine safety conference, in Baguio City, as he expressed gratitude to the founders of Philex Mining—which entered this year its sixth decade of responsible mining—for taking care of the environment as well as protecting the welfare of its stakeholders.
“This has become a working culture at Philex Mining,” Austin said in his keynote speech before a forum conducted by the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM), at the CAP-John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, on Nov. 17, as part of the four-day day 63rd Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) organized by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA).
Addressing the Mineral Industry Symposium, Austin added, “We owe it also to the founders of the company which has been continued and enhanced by the current owners, who made it a point to take into account the protection of the environment, to consider the welfare of workers and look into the upliftment of the lives of the host and neighboring communities.”
This is where the company would want to dissociate itself from the pack, he stressed, despite its depleting mine life, and as it celebrated its 60th year of operations rooted on the humanization of responsible mining. Something which jibes, Austin said, with ANMSEC’s theme for this year: “63 Years of Responsible Mining: Moving Forward by Doing it Right.”  
 “I am glad that Philex Mining was one of those companies not recommended for suspension,” he added, referring to the recent technical mine audit conducted by government regulators on all mining companies nationwide. “And this is attributed to the hard work and dedication of its men and women in ensuring strict adherence to given mining standards and processes through the years.”
Austin stressed that Philex Mining had institutionalized its mine-waste management and social development programs even before the requirements were put in place by the then-National Pollution Control Commission and through the provisions on the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) contained in the Mining Act of 1995.
So there is no doubt that “we support efforts by government in promoting responsible mining,” he told a news team from the People’s Television Network which visited Nov. 21 Philex Mining’s Padcal operations, in the Benguet towns of Tuba and Itogon.  
And having put a human face on responsible mining through the development of communities, paying the required taxes religiously, and being on the forefront of environment protection through forestation and reforestation, Austin said Philex Mining was now “braver to charter unexplored territories,” and that “we will raise the bar on responsible mining.”
 He reiterated support for the government efforts in promoting responsible mining, agreeing with what Louie Jacinto, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), had said that the absence of technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, social acceptability, or financial viability from a mining project translates to it not being responsible.

Echoing the words of Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of Philex Mining, Austin said: “ ‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.’ ”


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