Mining industry adopts sustainability initiatives

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — After nearly three years, the local mining industry is finally adopting the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, one of the global benchmarks in the extractive minerals industry developed by the Mining Association of Canada.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) recently launched the TSM initiative among its members in Mindanao.

Established in 2004, TSM is a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly. It aims to enable mining companies to meet society’s needs for minerals, metals and energy products in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible way.

“TSM has produced a decade and a half of reliable performance information which we can show governments and international organizations continued significant improvements in the way mines are managed in terms of their environmental and social aspects,” Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur said.

COMP adopted the TSM in 2017, making the Philippines the first in Asia to subscribe to the self-assessment system coupled with external verification that is rapidly evolving into the global standard for best practices in sustainable mining.

Apart from Canada and the Philippines, other countries that have adopted TSM are Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Finland and Spain.

COMP chairman Gerard Brimo said the industry, which continues to be scrutinized, would greatly benefit from the TSM.

“It is the commitment of our member companies to essentially ensure best practices in what we do, and to demonstrate that annually. It is also our way of demonstrating that we go beyond mere compliance, which again means employing best practices in everything that we do,” Brimo said.

For his part, Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Caraga director Glenn Noble said the TSM is a milestone for the Philippine minerals industry.

“Implementing TSM will greatly improve the industry’s image and ensure that mining will be conducted in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner,” he said.


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