The Philippines, a global mining hotspot marred by many disasters from toxic leaks to mudslides, will adopt Canada’s mining sustainability standards to improve engagement with civil society and enhance transparency and accountability.
It becomes the first Southeast Asian nation to adopt Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative but the local industry has warned it expects growth to be held back in 2018.
The Philippines’ mining industry was hamstrung by the country’s previous environment secretary Regina Lopez, who implemented a ban on openpit mining and closed or suspended operations on environmental and social grounds during her controversial 10 months in office which ended last May.
She was replaced by Roy Cimatu. Following a TSM signing ceremony, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) chairman Gerard Brimo told local media there would be no growth until issues including the openpit ban were resolved.
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) developed TSM as a mining sustainability standard and it has also been adopted by mining associations in Finland, Argentina and Botswana in the past two years.
“There is so much that minerals development, done responsibly, can contribute to the economy of a nation and to the welfare of mining communities, as shown by numerous examples in the Philippines,” Brimo said in a statement.
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