MANDALUYONG, METRO MANILA – The much-anticipated Mining Philippines 2023 International Conference and Exhibition kicked off at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel Manila on 19-20 September 2023, marking a successful return to face-to-face engagement since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the theme "SEEING GREEN: Shaping a Sustainable Minerals Development Industry," the event brought together key stakeholders, industry leaders, and experts aimed to encourage networking opportunities and provide a platform for dialogue on responsible mining practices and technological advancements within the industry.
Organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), the 2-day conference and exhibit were attended by over 300 delegates and 1500 visitors from around the world, with top mining companies and suppliers showcasing their latest projects and prospects in the Exhibit Hall.
The Artisanal Gold Council through planetGOLD Philippines Project, as the only organization dedicated to artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) at event, is committed to shedding light on the invaluable contribution of ASGM to the mining industry of the country, and in the broader landscape of sustainable mineral development.
The Project showcased a photo and video booth featuring informative displays of Project’s activities and accomplishments, engaging documentary films, and interactive games offering visitors the chance to win prizes. This approach not only highlighted the crucial role of ASGM in sustainable mineral development but also showed the Project’s commitment to advocate for ASGM and to engage and educate a diverse audience on the industry's sustainable future - fostering a deeper understanding of the Project's mission and the importance of responsible mining practices at all scales.
In addition, the Project dispatched its technical team as delegates to the two-day summit, with the intention of actively participating in discussions and dialogues. The objective was to gain a deeper understanding of the current status of the mining industry, aiming to support the Project in promoting responsible mining practices and establishing a clean supply chain at its sites. Through the Project's exhibits and delegation, there is a commitment to reinforcing efforts towards shaping an environmentally-sound, responsible, and more inclusive future for the Philippine mining industry, including Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in the conversation.
The Project’s government partner, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), opened the first day with welcome remarks from Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, whose speech was read by Undersecretary Carlos Primo David.
In her speech, Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga said, “The Philippines can be in a unique position to be an essential player in the global clean energy market, providing sustainable solutions to the climate crisis. This demand for minerals comes when the mining sector is expected to help generate government income to bolster our economic recovery.”
DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh also chimed in, saying, “Minerals and metals will play a key role in providing the raw materials needed for technologies. Their growth will alter demand patterns for upstream mining communities. We lead to a growing demand for a wide range of minerals and metals that result in significant opportunities for resource-rich countries such as the Philippines.”
The conference's objective focused on crafting a comprehensive mining roadmap through stakeholder collaboration and technology integration for sustainable operations. It highlighted the industry's commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, promoting economic growth while ensuring transparency and ethical standards.
Engr. Victor Quintana, Senior Mining Engineer for the planetGOLD Philippines Project, emphasized that "Participating in conferences like this is vital. It stresses the significance of integrating ASGM into broader industry conversations, encouraging the adoption of responsible practices in ASGM operations. We firmly believe in the substantial need for collaborative efforts, uniting ASGM communities and private companies, especially those engaged in large-scale mining, to explore potential partnerships. Such collaborations have the power to uplift ASGM communities, resulting in mutual benefits not only for the mining industry but for the nation as a whole. This strategic engagement is key to addressing the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in ASGM, contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive future."
The Philippines, renowned for its rich mineral resources, has experienced a resurgence in its mining industry. With metal production increasing by almost 32% in 2022 compared to the previous year, and a total export value of US$18.7 billion from 2020 to 2022, the country is poised for significant growth. The Mining Philippines 2023 theme aligns with the government's commitment to responsible mining practices, emphasizing the importance of environmental stewardship and community well-being.
“The gradual easing of the mining policy environment under a supportive administration is something we are truly thankful for and will never take for granted. We are well aware of the responsibility tied to this renewed trust. As demand for minerals to feed the requirements of the energy transition increase, we shall remain steadfast in our resolve to help expand economic recovery,” COMP Vice Chairman Gerard Brimo in his closing remarks.
As the mining industry continues to evolve, events like Mining Philippines 2023 serve as crucial platforms for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and shaping a sustainable future for mineral development in the Philippines. It provided a pivotal platform for the Project to advocate for the recognition and appreciation of ASGM's contributions. The planetGOLD Philippines Project remains dedicated to contributing to this shared vision and participating actively in initiatives that promote responsible and environmentally conscious mining practices.
The planetGOLD Philippines Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council.
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