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Miners vow to uphold responsible operations

Baguio City―The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association reiterated the industry’s commitment to practice responsible mining.

“Our member companies are committed to responsible mining. I think all the companies are doing it right,” PMSEA president Louie Sarmiento said Thursday.

“We’re not a perfect industry and in spite of the heavy regulations, people and companies are responding to make sure that they’re doing it right,” Sarmiento said at the sidelines of the 63rd Annual Mine Safety and Environmental Conference in Camp John Hay.

The conference was attended by more than 4,000 mineral industry workers, professionals and students from all over the country.

One of the main events of the conference is the Mining Exhibit and Mineral Industry Symposium which gives importance to the need to adapt through challenging times with technological breakthroughs and new research to ensure safe and environmentally friendly practices are undertaken.

The event was attended by counterparts from South Africa, led by the deputy minister for mineral resources Godfrey Oliphant and Ambassador to the Philippines Martin Slaberg.

Oliphant, a former diamond mine worker, expressed hope for knowledge sharing of technology and best practices and partnership with then Philippines in the future.

“Before, [mine] accidents in Africa reaches more than 200 and that is unacceptable in an industry like mining. Of course, there’s always high risks but because of what they did in terms of risk management, they were able to lower that dramatically through the years,” Sarmiento said.

“Together with the help of the regulatory, they managed to improve their safety statistics. We cannot do it alone, the government―and this was demonstrated by the South African government―should  help the industry improve their safety records,” he said.

Sarmiento said the government and the mining industry should work hand in hand in order to improve the industry.

“We need both. The regulator and the one being regulated should help each other. It’s a journey. We cannot do it in an instant. Africa has best practices that we’re still not implementing. We can do it here and I think the industry is willing to adapt,” Sarmiento said. 

“Now more than ever, we should all gather and show our strength and solidarity in advocating for responsible mining. I am encouraging the industry to keep doing what is right,” said Sarmiento.

Topics: Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association , responsible mining
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