Miners back suspension of Chinese firm
Chamber readies scorecard to measure industry’s performanceBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) on Monday said it supported the recent government suspension of a foreign-led mining operation that was contributing to the environmental concerns in its host province.
The miners’ group said that while it was confident that its members adhere to the principles of responsible minerals development, it was taking steps to ensure full membership compliance with all laws on environment, health and safety, as well as on community engagement.
COMP said it fully supported the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) order suspending the operation of a nickel miner in Surigao del Norte for failing to address excessive siltation along the shoreline in Claver town where the company operated.
The suspended mining firm, Shenzou Mining Group Corp., is not a member of COMP, the industry group said.
COMP said Shenzou was among several foreign mining firms—also not members of COMP—that were being keenly watched by the MGB for alleged violations of environmental laws.
The industry group said it was also closely monitoring its members, warning that those found to be reneging on their duties to the environment and host communities as prescribed by law would be enjoined to undertake appropriate corrective measures. Suitable punitive actions, including suspension or expulsion from the membership roster, would be meted out to those who fail, it added.
“We believe that as an active player in an industry that is subject to meticulous scrutiny by the government and civil society organizations, COMP should take a lead role in addressing expectations for sustainable development,” COMP chair Artemio Disini said. “As such, we encourage our members to put considerable thought into a range of social issues—from land use, water use and environmental performance to worker safety and respect for human rights.”
“As an expression of our resolve to address the concerns of different sectors of our society on mining, we are finalizing a Scorecard with respectable nongovernment organizations to find new and better ways of measuring our industry’s performance, not only in the area of community development, but equally important, in environmental conservation,” Disini added.
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