A grand slam win for a mining company simply means being the best in class in its responsible conduct of business; in its forest management and environment enhancement and protection; its social responsibility programs and in providing safety in the workplace and the communities.
Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) sweeps major honors this year from the country’s most prestigious award-giving body in the mining industry—the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA).
“It’s our first time and it’s a grand slam! We still can’t believe it but that these awards were accorded to us during this most difficult time of the pandemic, makes this moment doubly exulting, everyone was emotional when the news first broke, this is the reason for our existence, said Engr. Francis Arañes, HMC’s Resident Mine Manager.
HMC, with operations in Hinatuan Island, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte, takes home the Presidential award for surface mining operations; the Best Mining Forest in the Metallic category; the winner of the Safest Surface Mining Operations; and the winner of the Safest Mining Operation; plus, the individual awards of Best Surface Safety Inspector and Best Surface Miner accorded to HMC’s employees, Aldrin L. Resullar and Jennifer Q. Inting, respectively.
The PMIEA is the highest accolade awarded to a mining company. The evaluation and assessment for this year’s awardees encountered extra challenges with the threats of COVID-19 in the backdrop where movements were limited, the economy threatened, operations delayed, and bringing services to the communities were among the biggest challenge to the company’s community workers.
HMC had set its eyes on these awards for years.
The company remains steadfast, focusing on specific goals that the award giving body monitors and measures, such as the actual number of hectares to be rehabilitated as mandated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), even going outside of their areas of responsibility in supporting the Philippine National Greening Program (NGP); building a robust forest within the mine site, highlighting eco-tourism programs; setting up its host and neighboring communities to sustainable economic development programs; among other things. And to ensure that compliance is above and beyond its mandate, HMC underscores the efficiency of reporting, of transparency, giving importance to its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programs.
“The bar in honoring mining companies has been set even higher, what with the added focus on the principles of ESG—Environment, Social and Governance—in the midst of ongoing debates about climate change,” said Engr. Aloysius C. Diaz, NAC SVP and Head of Production.
Diaz said the miners, HMC in particular, are now even more cognizant of peer reviews because the world has become more critical in holding the industry accountable for a greener, healthier, and safer future.
PMIEA evaluates all facets of a mining company’s responsible and sustainable business practices, keenly focusing on environmental protection and management; and ensuring the health and safety of employees and the total wellbeing of the people in the communities that they serve.
The Hinatuan mine site, also known as the “Tagana-an Nickel Project”, is located in Hinatuan Island, Barangay Talavera, municipality of Tagana-an, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.