At the just-concluded 69h Annual Mine Safety and Environment Conference, Luis R. Sarmiento, president of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), highlighted the mining companies’ readiness and capability to bolster their sustainability initiatives, and, in the process, increase their contribution to both local and national economic development.
The winners of the Presidential Mineral Industry Excellence Award (PMIEA), for instance, serve as the most credible testament to the mining industry’s viability.
“All mining companies that have successfully hurdled the meticulous permitting process of the government have earned the right to operate,” says Sarmiento. He also says that responsible mining companies are reliable partners of their host local government units (LGUs) in fostering lasting development.
The PMIEA awardees were feted on 17 November, the last day of ANMSEC. According to Sarmiento, this year’s batch boasts of the biggest number of awardees at 34 — another evidence, he says, of the growing number of mining companies that employ world-class operating standards.
At the Community Relations Conference held on ANMSEC’s second day, both community relations officers of mining companies and LGU representatives exchanged inferences on how to ensure that the social development allocations actually serve to trigger and sustain lasting positive changes such as consistent job generation, easing up of access to basic healthcare and upskilling of community members.
According to Sarmiento, the social development and management programs (SDMPs) that are required of an operating mining company is a tool that the DENR uses to monitor and evaluate the positive impact of the said company’s operations to its host communities.
The three-day mining exhibit, which ran from 14-16 November, featured 144 companies, mostly suppliers of equipment, exploration experts, and a host of other essentials in mining operations. Sarmiento says, “Our vendors are also expanding their product and service offering to the mining companies to ensure that we have a wide array of choices. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for mining companies to begin institutionalizing newer technologies to make our mining operations smarter.”