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Mining companies aid in Ompong rescue operation

As part of their community outreach initiatives, regional emergency response teams of mining companies in Region 02 provided assistance in rescue operations in Tuguegarao City during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong on Sept. 14-18, this year.

The two teams from OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated and FCF Mineral Corporation helped the city government in facilitating emergency response to families affected by the typhoon.

The responders also conducted clearing operations at the Cagayan National High School and in eight barangays, namely: Bagay, Caritan Centro, Centro 1, Centro 2, Centro 9, Centro 10, Tanza, and Ugac Sur.

Meanwhile, prior to the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) provided the list of barangays that have High to Very High Landslide and Flood Susceptibility to the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the provincial local government units.

Geologists of MGB also conducted the post-Geohazard assessment of areas prone to landslide and flood in the region.

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A closer look at OceanaGold’s best practices,
conducts mine tour for the members of the press

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan-  OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated, an Australian mining firm located in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya conducted a mine tour to the local media on June 26, 2018.

The mine tour was initiated to educate the local press on the OGPI’s mining operation: how the company do the underground mining, the recovery of gold and copper thru their process plant, implementation of their social development and management programs in their host and neighboring communities, and how they implement their environmental commitments.

The mine tour was participated in by representatives from Philippine Information Agency, DWPE Radyo Pilipinas, DZCV, Bombo Radyo Cauayan, Philippine News Agency, DZYT sonshine radio, The Northern Forum, and other local press within Tuguegarao City.

Underground Mine

The development of the underground mining operation commenced in early 2015 and the first ore from the underground mine was produced during the first quarter of 2018. It is expected to operate until 2030.

The copper-gold laden ores were being delivered to the processing plant for the recovery of those precious metals while the considered mine waste or rocks that contain less economic copper and gold values goes to the waste rock dump or for other purposes.

Processing Plant

plantThe processing plant utilizes gravity concentration for the recovery of free gold coupled with flotation to produce copper-gold concentrate. The copper concentrates were being shipped to Poro Point then to Singapore while the gold bullion sold to Australia Mint.

The mill tailings as slurry of which about 60% by volume goes to the tailings dam while about 40% goes to the paste fill plant to be processed as cement fill to the voids as a result of extraction of copper-gold laden ores underground.

Tailings Storage Facility

TSF.jpgThe TSF is constructed to a standard that exceeds the Philippine DENR Guidelines and meets the Australian ANCOLD guidelines, and the International ICOLD guidelines. This means that OGPI’s TSF structure exceeds both the Philippine and International TSF design standard criteria.

The about 60% by volume mill tailings find its final deposition in the TSF. The TSF is provided with dewatering pumps in pontoons pumping accumulating effluent together with precipitation and surface run-offs within the containment area to the water treatment plant to its discharge to the Dinauyan River.

Water Treatment Plant

The water treatment plant was constructed to ensure to compliance to DENR standards particularly on the Total Suspended Solids (TSS). The plant has the capacity of treating 2- million liters of waste water per hour and has the ability to lower Total Suspended Solids (TSS) down to <70ppm.

Paste Plant

PP.jpgThis facility is the Philippine mining’s first paste backfill plant. The Paste Backfill system is a new mill tailings management system that creates economical way of providing support and safe working place in underground mining operation.

Backfilling is an important process in Didipio’s underground mining activity. The facility is capable of producing about 50,000 m3/month of paste composed of mill tailings mixed with cement. The paste produced will be used in the underground mine to fill in accomplished stopes.

Social Responsibility

Aiming to leave a legacy of responsible mining, OceanaGold Philippines Inc. aims for a sustainable and self-reliant community after mine life. With this in mind, OceanaGold is implementing its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) through various projects on livelihood, education, infrastructure, and health.

The SDMP is a comprehensive five-year plan of the Contractor/Permit Holder/Lessee authorize to conduct actual mining and milling operations towards the sustained improvement in the living standards of the host and neighboring communities by creating responsible, self-reliant, and resource-based communities capable of developing, implementing, and managing community development programs, projects, and activities in a manner consistent with the principle of people empowerment. For the implementation, an Annual SDMP shall be submitted and duly approved by MGB ROII. 

Progressive Rehabilitation

Progressive rehabilitation is a strategy for minimizing environmental risks by starting the environment restoration/rehabilitation before the end of the mine life. It is incorporated in the approved Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) duly approved by the Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund Steering Committee (CLRF-SC) which spells out the Life of Mine program of the company and for implementation, an Annual EPEP shall be submitted and approved by the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee

Didipio Mine started their rehabilitation of disturbed areas on 2013 prior to Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu’s declaration that all miners should do progressive rehabilitation. However, if we go back to the time that the area is under Climax-Arimco Mining Corporation then later Australasian Philippines Mining Inc. before it became OceanaGold, planting of various tree species were implemented under their Mining Forest Program. At present, a total of 105.99 hectares were already rehabilitated out of the 389.8 hectares disturbed area within the Partial Declaration of Mining Feasibility (PDMF) area of 975 hectares. The difference between the rehabilitated and disturbed area refers to the facilities still being used by the company in their mining operation. 

After the mine tour, three representatives from the local press were given the chance to visit the underground mine to see the on-going activities.


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Mines Bureau R02 is now ISO certified

True to its vision in implementing an international standard system, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II is now International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified. MGB R0II has recently received its Certificate of Registration on OHSAS 18001:2017, ISO 9001:2015, and ISO 14001:2015.

The certifications were received from Intertek Certification Limited, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited body under schedule of accreditation no. 14.

OHSAS 18001:2007, otherwise known as Occupational Health and Safety Management Certification provides for international standards framework to identify, to control, and to eliminate/reduce the risks accompanied in health and safety within the work environment.

RD Mario A. Acheta said that, “the certification gives a clear signal that our primordial concern is the health and welfare of its employees by implementing a health and safety policy which protects its employees against occupational risks in the workplace considering we have a lot of technical personnel who are always on field.”

ISO 14001:2015 facilitates for environmental management system of an organization. This seeks for the proper management of the environmental responsibilities of the bureau like paper, water, and fuel consumption as well as the waste disposal system of MGB.

On the other hand, ISO 9001:2015 addresses the quality management system of the office. This sets criteria on the agency’s service delivery vis-a vis its clients’ satisfaction

“Given these certifications, it is a proof that what we are doing is good. We will continue to strive harder for our clients that rightfully deserve efficient and effective service delivery,” RD Ancheta said.

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2-year moratorium on mines exploration lifted

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted the moratorium on exploration permits for metallic and non-metallic mines by nullifying a portion of former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez’s first memorandum order.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu signed the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2018- 13 on July 13, 2018, which states that, moratorium on acceptance, processing, and/or approval of Exploration Permit applications for metallic and non-metallic minerals has been lifted following the completion of the audit on all mining operations pursuant to DENR Memorandum Order No. 2016-01, or “Audit of all Operating Mines and Moratorium on new Mining Projects.”

In 2016, Lopez issued a memorandum order which subject an extensive audit of all operating and suspended mines as well as the moratorium on the acceptance, processing, and approval of application and projects for all metallic and non-metallic minerals.”

He further said that Lopez overstepped her authority and that it is legally accepted to explore.

The lifting order is in line with President Duterte’s economic agenda, particularly on increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business to attract local and foreign direct investment to the country.

The exploration permit applications shall be filed in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office concerned for acceptance, processing, and approval pursuant to the pertinent provisions of DAO 2010-21 and DAO 2012-07.

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