ITOGON, Benguet – The Itogon Suyoc resources, Inc. (ISRI) and the Dalicno Small Scale Mining Association (DaSSMA) recently renewed their big brother, small brother agreement following the successful implementation of the partnership that is geared towards providing a viable livelihood program for small-scale miners over the past two years.
The big brother, small brother program is a community-based production-oriented mining activity that is aimed at providing a safe source of livelihood for the small-scale miners which are considered the small brothers of large-scale mining companies who act as the big brother.
One advantage of ISRI’s big brother, small brother set up is that the small-scale miners work in a safe working environment as the areas they mine are within the tenements of ISRI. The small-scale miners are also trained by ISRI to become professional miners, ensuring sustained income for both big brother and small brother.
Under the present set up, ISRI prepares the interested DaSSMA members by providing them with the required safety training, subject them to medical checkup and orient them on the standards of underground mining such as timbering, machine drilling, blasting and other mine-related activities aside from providing them with technical guidance and production monitoring.
From April to December 2021, the DaSSMA produced some 1,460 tons of ore with a total contract price of P2 million.
As of October, this year, DaSSMA produced some 12,800 tons of ore with a total contract price of P17.2 million.
DaSSMA contributed an average of 10 percent of ISRI’s monthly ore production which was a big contribution in improving the company’s overall ore production since the implementation of the big brother, small brother program.
ISRI recognizes there is an increasing level of contribution of the big brother, small brother program to its Sangilo mine production, thus, the company intends to bring the program to its mine site in Suyoc and other project sites.
Moreover, 10 small-scale mining groups expressed their intention to join the big brother, small brother program to help in providing the members with sustainable and viable sources of livelihood and for them to be able to continue their small-scale mining activities in light of the temporary ban on small-scale mining imposed by the environment department in the Cordillera.