Amidst the COVID 19 pandemic that affects the minerals industry, the Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) recently bagged for the 6th time, the country’s highest mining award under the mineral processing category.

The Philippine Mines Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA), this February, has conferred to CBNC its 6th PMIEA trophy for its performance during the pandemic year 2020. With only a year gap, CBNC has been winning this award since 2014.

PMIEA is the highest award given to a mining company whose performance in the area of environmental enhancement, safety and health and social development have met the highest standards of the prestigious award giving body. It was established under Executive Order No. 399 on February 03, 1997 in compliance with the policy that mineral exploration and mining operation should be “pro-environment” and “pro-people.”

CBNC Community Relations Manager Ernesto Llacuna said that the year 2020 has been a challenging year for everybody, and that CBNC was never an exemption.

“However, we did not waver and we continue to keep on operating and implementing our programs for the community mindful of the set rules during the pandemic,” he said.

To be conferred with the PMIEA award, a certain mining company should not only be doing its best in one aspect of its operations. “The company should reach the percentage each criterion set by the body – that is 50% for environmental management, 20% for safety and health, 20% for SDMP implementation and 10% for Information, Education and Communication. If you fail in one of these areas, you cannot get this award.  Likewise, your rating must be not below 95%,” he explained.

During the quarantine period when many companies have ceased operation, several workers have lost jobs, but based on records, not a single employee of CBNC has been affected.

“Before the cases spiked, we already have formed Anti-COVID-19 Task Force. That is why none of our employees got infected. And that was only possible because our employee have been cooperative until now,” said Antonio Sanone, the Safety and Health Manager of CBNC.

CBNC is a hydrometallurgical Processing Plant in Rio Tuba, Bataraza, Palawan, that produces  nickel and cobalt sulfide from existing stockpiles of low-grade nickel ores from the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp.

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