Mining group forms multisectoral advisory panel

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Chamber of Mines Philippines (COMP) is taking a step forward with its push for more sustainable mining practices as it establishes its Community of Interest (COI) advisory panel to discuss current mining issues.

The creation of a COI advisory panel is part of the COMP’s preparation for the rollout of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) self-assessment system created by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC).

COMP chairman Gerard Brimo said the COI panel would “provide guidance and a place for robust discussions with COMP on current mining issues.” 

“Its members – all with the necessary respect and credibility within their respective area of interest to be an authoritative voice on the panel – will advise COMP on the implementation of TSM and review TSM implementation results,” Brimo said.

The COI advisory panel consists of 12 regular members from various sectors and experts in related fields and three ex-officio members from the industry.

UP economics professor Cielo Magno, a member of the COI advisory panel representing the Civil Society Organization, said TSM has a huge potential to improve the compliance of large-scale metallic mining companies with existing regulations of the country.

“If implemented properly, it will improve transparency and accountability. With access to information, then over time, it will contribute to the improvement of public perception of mining,” she said.

The COI advisory panel members recently attended an orientation session conducted by Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of MAC, and David Walkem, a respected forester and a board member of Canada’s COI advisory board.

Gratton said improved public perception and, eventually, acceptance of mining in the Philippines will not happen overnight, but in due time. He is confident that TSM will boost the standing of COMP member-companies over time because the TSM model is “so difficult that it raises the bar in mining.”

The COMP adopted the TSM system in 2017.

Brimo said the adoption of the TSM system shows that the mining industry is going beyond regulatory compliance as it represents a series of sustainable “best” practices that the group should implement and rate themselves against.

“Working with our member companies, we have now completed the selection of Protocols and are almost finished with the review of Indicators under each of the Protocols,” he said.

Apart from Canada and the Philippines, other countries that have adopted TSM are Finland, Argentina, Botswana, Spain and Brazil. South Africa, Indonesia and Laos have expressed strong interest in adopting TSM as well.

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