This is in response to DENR chief Gina Lopez’s call to suspend mining firms that are not ISO-compliant
MANILA, Philippines (July 7, 2016) — Philex Mining Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary Silangan Mindanao Mining Corporation have a message to the newly-installed environment secretary: “We are ISO-compliant.”
Environment Secretary Gina Lopez during the turnover ceremony last Friday, July 1, called for an audit of mining companies, ensuring their adherence to ISO or International Organization for Standardization 14001.
Should a mining firm be found non-compliant, Lopez said it will face suspension.
Lopez had said that ISO 14001 certification is responsible mining.
“If you’re really responsible, like, responsible, then you have to have the highest standards, and the standards we want for our beloved country is ISO 14001,” Lopez said.
The country’s largest biggest gold producer, Philex Mining, obtained its ISO certification through International Management System (IMS) last April 2015.
“With these certifications, we have emphasized our care for the environment and the safety of our people,” Philex Mining president and CEO Eulalio Austin Jr said in a statement on Wednesday, July 6.
ISO 14001 covers the requirements of an environmental management system such as quality and labor protection, for all organizations.
“Environmental awareness and looking after the safety of workers are the trademarks of a responsible miner,” Austin added.
Meanwhile, Silangan Mindanao Mining was recently awarded its ISO 14001 certification this past June – before the Duterte administration came into office.
“This is hard proof of Silangan’s hard work in establishing the culture of responsible mining. This certification is also a result of an actual audit done by an internationally accredited independent group,” Silangan Mindanao Mining president and CEO Yulo Perez said.
“We are probably the first mining company who received an ISO 14001 certification prior to the actual mining operation,” Perez added.
Perez said his firm’s certificate was in compliance with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2015-07, which required mining companies to secure ISO 14001 Certificates to enforce environmental compliance and promote responsible and sustainable mining.
“These certifications give strong assurances to existing and prospective investors and strategic partners of both Philex and Silangan on our excellence in operation, maintenance and rehabilitation practices,” said Michael Toledo, senior vice president for public and regulatory affairs of Philex Mining.
Nickel Asia Corporation earlier told the new administration that all its mining operations are ISO compliant.