Preparations for the mandatory submission of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) 2022 self-assessment reports are well underway for member firms of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) and for its accredited Verification Service Providers (VSPs or external verifiers).  COMP members with operating mines will submit their TSM reports within the first quarter of 2023.

The accredited TSM VSPs of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines are warmly welcomed by officials and staff of Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) led by Resident Mine Manager Artemio Valeroso at the start of the VSPs’ two-day tour of TMC’s mine facilities and host communities.

As part of their ongoing TSM orientation, the VSPs visited last September the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) mine site in Claver, Surigao del Norte to see firsthand the project’s operations as well as environmental protection and social development programs. TMC officials and staff presented to the VSPs the mine project’s TSM self-assessment ratings using the software application designed and developed by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC). TMC is one of the operating subsidiaries of the NAC Group of Companies.

The VSPs – all highly respected operations, environmental, and social experts – will ensure the objectivity and integrity of the TSM external verification process, which requires validation of the COMP members’ self-assessment reports . The VSPs completed their training under the auspices of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Canada Embassy in the Philippines last March.

Top photo shows TMC resident mine manager Artemio Valeroso (on mound) provides the visiting VSPs a briefing on the company’s mining operations in Claver, Surigao del Norte. Below, the VSPs listen to the presentation of TMC’s TSM self-assessment report using the software application developed by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC). NAC will make the app accessible to all COMP members when they accomplish their respective self-rating for the period January to December 2022.

Meanwhile last October 12, company representatives tasked to implement TSM in their respective mining operations participated in the first in-person demonstration of the self-assessment app at the Lepanto Building in Makati City. A handful of VSPs were also present in the very first face-to-face meeting hosted by COMP since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. The demonstration was likewise made available via videotelephony to company representatives who were not able to join the onsite meeting.

Rolando Cruz, Lyndsy Bartolome, and Manuel Rivas, Jr. of NAC’s Corporate Planning and Revenue Assurance provided the participants a tutorial on how to navigate the app and responded to questions from both company representatives and VSPs. NAC will make the app accessible to all COMP members when they accomplish their respective self-rating for the period January to December 2022. COMP had hosted two online demos of the app last March and June.

Top photo shows Nickel Asia Corp.’s (NAC) Lyndsy Bartolome assisting a representative of another COMP member firm as he navigates the TSM self-assessment app designed and developed by NAC. In the second and third photos, company representatives and VSPs listen intently to the app demonstration being conducted by NAC personnel during the very first in-person meeting hosted by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020.

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 COMP members’ facilities.  It was established by MAC in 2004 and adopted by COMP in 2017, making the Philippines the first in Asia to subscribe to this Environmental Social Governance (ESG) self-assessment system that is rapidly evolving into the global standard for best practices in sustainable mining.  COMP has made TSM mandatory to all its members.