Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) is the winner of the first-ever ASEAN Minerals Award (AMA) in the Best Practices in Mineral Mining category, beating entries from other member-countries of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Another entry from the Philippines, OceanaGold, won in the category Best Practices in Mineral Processing after also besting entries from other ASEAN member countries. Both RTNMC and OceanaGold are member companies of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines. There was no Philippine entry in the Best in Mineral Transportation category.
The awarding was set to be held Wednesday during the gala dinner of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals being held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
On Tuesday all nine finalists (three per category) made their final presentation to the ten-member Board of Judges.
Gerard Brimo of RTNMC’s presentation entitled “Responsible Mining is Real” focused on the mandatory social development programs and the voluntary corporate social responsibility projects of RTNMC that together uplift the community of Rio Tuba and the LGU of Bataraza.
Brimo spoke of Rio Tuba as a story of the transformation of a remote and uninhabited area of southern Palawan, proof, he said, that responsible mining brings development where it is allowed to operate. He also focused on RTNMC’s efforts to protect the environment and highlighted the return of biodiversity to the new forests growing in mined out areas.
With its model for responsible mining and its special focus on progressive rehabilitation, RTNMC bested two other finalists in its category — a gold mining company from Indonesia and the largest cement group in Thailand.
“The selection of RTNMC is a recognition of the four decades of responsible mining that has been practiced at Rio Tuba,” Brimo said.
For his part, Martin Antonio Zamora, NAC Executive Vice President said the award was “a recognition of the hard work of the professionals in the Philippines mining bureau and the DENR who work to ensure that mining laws are observed so that responsible mining is able to flourish and make its proper economic contribution beyond the progressive mining communities.”
RTNMC has been operating in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza, Palawan since the late 1960s and began exporting ore to Japan in 1977, forty years ago this year.
RTNMC is a subsidiary of publicly listed Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC).
The AMA was established to honor mining companies from the ASEAN communities for their contributions in the advancement of responsible and environment-friendly mining.
It is a project of the Special Task Force (STF) under the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals (ASOMM).
Composing the STF are representatives from the ASEAN Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore