The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) today announced that, beginning this year, all its 19 member-companies with operating mines will fully implement the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a global ESG performance measurement standard – with public reporting – that COMP adopted in 2017.

This means that these mines will submit their self-assessment reports on eight TSM Protocols for their January to December 2023 performance via an online app called Mine Site Sustainability Audit (MSSA), exclusively designed for TSM’s implementation in the Philippines.  The mines will conduct internal audits and should be able to support their self-ratings with proofs and evidences.

Ten of the 19 mines will be subjected to independent external verification by highly qualified Verification Service Providers (VSPs) to validate the reports.  The other nine will be VSP-validated next year.  The results of all self-assessment and externally verified reports will be made public.

“After we adopted TSM  in December 2017, we embarked on a 6-year preparation period that saw our members actively participate in the Filipinization of the TSM Protocols,” COMP Chairman Michael Toledo said.  “That period also saw the formation of our multi-sector Community of Interest Advisory Panel, the training and accreditation of our VSPs, the development and cascading of the MSSA, a self-assessment dry run, and the ‘mock’ external verification of three volunteer mines: Rio Tuba Nickel, OceanaGold Didipio, and Philex Padcal.”

The 16 other COMP member-firms with operating mines are: Benguet Corp.; Cagdianao Mining Corp.; Carmen Copper Corp.; Carrascal Nickel Corp.; CTP Construction and Mining Corp.; Dinapigue Mining Corp.; Eramen Minerals, Inc.; FCF Minerals, Inc.n; Filminera Resources Corp.; Hinatuan Mining Corp.; Lepanto Consolidated MiningCo.; LNL Archipelago Minerals, Inc., Platinum Group Metals Corp.; Taganito Mining Corp.; and TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc.

Separate teams of accredited TSM Verification Service Providers (VSPs) conduct mock external verification of three volunteer operating COMP member-mines in September and October last year as part of the preparations for the full implementation of the global ESG performance standard this year. Photos show the VSPs with mine personnel of (from top) Philex Mining Corp. Padcal Copper-Gold Project, Rio Tuba Nickel Project, and OceanaGold Copper-Gold Didipio Project.

“This year, now sufficiently familiar with TSM, we are implementing the program following the commitment we made to our stakeholders that we will strive for ESG performance beyond the word of the law,” Toledo added.

COMP member-mines will assess their ESG performance against these TSM Protocols: Safety and Health; Community and Indigenous Peoples Outreach and Social Development; Crisis Management and Communications; Tailings Management; Water Management; Biodiversity Conservation Management; and Climate Change.

TSM is a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly and best practices are used at members’ facilities.  It was established by the Mining Association of Canada in 2004.  The Philippines, through COMP, remains the only country in Asia to subscribe to TSM.  COMP has made TSM mandatory to all its members.

The other TSM-implementing jurisdictions are Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, Guatemala, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Spain, and Quebec.