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December 20, 2017

COMP Board of Trustee Jose P. Leviste Jr., DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu and COMP Chairman Gerard H. Brimo are joined by representatives from the Philippine mining industry in a photo opportunity after the ceremonial signing of the adoption of the TSM initiative and the Baguio Declaration

Lepanto Mining adopts “Towards Sustainable Mining”, “Baguio Declaration”

By Butch Mendizabal

Staying true to its commitment to responsible minerals development while protecting the environment and strengthening the host and neighboring communities, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) has joined the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) in the adoption of “Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative and the “Baguio Declaration”.

Represented by LCMC Chief Operating Officer Ramon T. Diokno and VP for Human Resource and Administration Knestor Jose Y. Godino (for Manila Mining, a subsidiary of LCMC), Lepanto Mining, alongside other Philippine mining companies, signed the agreement, witnessed by no less than DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes and Mining Association of Canada (MAC) President and CEO Pierre Gratton.

TSM is a mining sustainability standard launched by MAC in 2004, requiring mining companies to annually assess their facilities’ performance in key areas, including tailings management, community outreach, safety and health, biodiversity conversion, crisis management and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management.

Implementation of the program is mandatory for all MAC members’ Canadian operations, but many voluntarily apply it to their international sites. MAC freely shares TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability.

Another crusade that Lepanto Mining embarked on is the Baguio Declaration. This is COMP’s response to Sec. Cimatu’s keynote speech at the 64th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference last November, where he challenged the mining industry to go beyond responsible mining, and be a greater contributor to the national development.

The Baguio Declaration underscores five elements of responsible minerals development: People Orientation, Protection and Enhancement of the Environment, Respect for the Rights and Welfare of Indigenous Peoples, Fair Contribution to the National Economy and Efficient, Competitive and Compliant with the International Standards – which Lepanto has been consistently doing for over eight decades, thus the ISO 14001-2004 certification.

“I am happy that you have accepted my challenge to the mining industry and I look forward to more meaningful collaboration between the DENR and the private sector involved in minerals development in ensuring even greater benefits for our people”, Sec. Cimatu concluded, addressing the COMP and all the mining industry who participated in the meaningful venture.

COMP is the first south Asian mining association to adopt the TSM initiative and is the fourth offshore association to adopt TSM in the past two years.