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Cimatu visits TMC

For its best practices in mining operation, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) was commended by no less than newly-appointed Secretary Roy A. Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

TMC, an affiliate of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), was the first mining firm in Mindanao visited by Cimatu during his first month in the office as DENR chief.

The secretary and his team from the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) also conducted an aerial and ground survey of the TMC mine site on August 1.

Cimatu was joined by DENR Asst. Secretary Michelle Go, MGB National Director Atty. Wilfredo Moncano and Caraga Regional Directors Roger de Dios (MGB), Charlie Fabre (DENR) and Wilson Trajeco (EMB).

Talking to media during his inspection, Cimatu said the company was among the mines that survived the stringent audit of mining companies exploring and operating during the term of former Environment Secretary Regina Lopez.

At the same time, Cimatu expressed his intention to make TMC operations a benchmark for other mines.

“Pinuntahan ko pa rin (ang TMC) kasi I want to compare this sa mga other mining companies na medyo lumalabag sa mga mining requirements, good practices…iku-compare ko ngayon,” said Cimatu.

One of the aspects identified by Cimatu as a best practice is the company’s progressive mine rehabilitation program.

“Number one, yung una kong nakikita talaga yung rehabilitation nila nakita ko naman ito five years ago, parang wala kang makita, five years later, makikita mo na itong mga kahoy na ginawa nila…parang hindi nga namina e…Rehabilitation is one aspect of a best practice,” Cimatu said.

Sec. Cimatu told the media who accompanied him during the visit that he has not seen any environmental violation and no rice fields or bodies of water were affected by the mine operations.

The secretary also hailed the company’s water protection measures with the presence of settling ponds for TMC and tailings pond for Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation, a processing plant.

“Tapos makita mo yung tawag nila na tailings pond, bago nila bibitiwan yung tubig nila sa dagat ay lilinisin muna nila yan kasi iyo ang nasa mining law, bago mo bitiwan yung wastewater mo doon sa dagat, linisin mo muna,” shared Cimatu.

Furthermore, Cimatu noted the importance of the mining company’s social acceptability to its communities.

“Dito sa Taganito, itong company na ito ay nagampanan naman yung kanilang responsibility sa mining and in fact, yung una kong tiningnan yung epekto ng mining sa community and nakita ko naman, yung mining community ay they were very happy and cooperative to the mining company,” he said.

Other best practices showcased during the visit are the use of the conveyor belt system to efficiently transport nickel ore in effect reducing greenhouse gas emission and the operation of a nickel processing plant to add value to the low-grade minerals extracted by TMC.

“Thank you very much sa pag-welcome niyo sa amin. Matagal ko na talagang gustong mamasyal sa mga mining companies and napili ko nga ito na una..this is my first visit sa mga mining companies, ang Taganito, kasi sabi nila ito yung compliant sa lahat sa mga mining law,” Cimatu concluded.

From 2011-2016, TMC has already spent over Php 180 million for social development programs and over Php 1.3 billion for environmental protection.

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