DENR chief visits Surigao, commends Taganito Mining for best practices

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, visited Surigao del Norte, last August 1, to ensure that the mining law is properly implemented in the province. It was the Secretary's first visit to a mine site since being designated acting DENR Secretary by President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to an ABS-CBN report on the visit, Sec. Cimatu commended Taganito Mining, a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), for its best practices in mine operations.

Cimatu and his team from the DENR, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), as well as the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), did both aerial and ground survey of the mine sites.

TMC was among the mines that survived the stringent audit during the term of former Secretary Gina Lopez, and 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.

According to the report, Cimatu underscored the importance of the mining company’s social acceptability by its host communities and the Secretary said it was the first thing he made sure of in the visit – that the communities are happy and are cooperating with the mine activities. One of the aspects pointed out by Cimatu as a ‘best practice’ in mining is TMC’s progressive mine rehabilitation program.

The local news report showed Sec Cimatu commending the rehabilitation program of TMC and noting how the company has protected the waters around the area of the mining company with well-placed settling ponds and tailings ponds.

“TMC makes sure that the water from the mines is cleaned before it is released to the ocean as is mandated by the mining law of the country,” Cimatu is clearly heard saying.

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

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