By May Miasco

CEBU, Philippines – Amid the pressure being faced by the mining industry, several mining operators including those Central Visayas were recognized for their best practices in the recently concluded Presidential Mine Safety and Environment Conference held in Baguio City.

Mining companies in Central Visayas received at least 10 awards conferred by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-7 information officer Marian Codilla said in a press release.

In the same press release, MGB-7 director Loreto Alburo said that the awards garnered show the “effective partnership” of the mi-ning firms in the region and the MGB-7, a line agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

He pointed out that the given recognition also reflects the efforts of the stakeholders to balance the implementation of mine safety and environmental management and the aim for social development.

For one, Solid Earth Development Corporation in Alcoy, Cebu, Codilla said, was recognized as the safest non-metallic mining operation in the country.

For mineral processing, Apo Cement Corporation in Naga City, Cebu received the platinum Presidential Mineral Industry Environment Award.

The Naga-based cement producer was also awarded as the over-all winner for the Safest Mines Award in the cement plant category while Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. in San Fernando, Cebu was second place.

In the crushing category, Codilla said the Safest Mines Award was given to the Bohol plant of the Philippine Mining Service Corporation.

There was also a separate set of awards for mining companies that engage in mineral extraction on forest resources.

Codilla said Carmen Copper Corporation-Toledo Copper Mine Project in Toledo City, Cebu won second runner-up for the metallic category.

While for the non-metallic category, Solid Earth Development Corporation in Alcoy, Cebu again bagged an award as third runner-up.

Both mining firms were bestowed the Best Mining Forest Awards since they remain firm in their commitment on their respective progressive site rehabilitation, said Codilla.

Under the Mineral Processing Plant category, the Philippine Mining Service Corporation in Alcoy, Cebu was first runner-up for the Best Mining Forest Awards, followed by Apo Cement Corporation which was awarded as second runner-up.

No less than the president of the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, Louie Sarmiento, handed over the plaques to the owners and representatives of the recognized mining firms, “which have excelled and went beyond just compliance in safety and environmental protection.”