Carmen Copper Corp. was recently awarded the 2018 Gawad Tugas for Responsible Mining in recognition of the company’s outstanding performance in the fields of safety, occupational health, environment, and community development at the Cebu Grand Convention Center in Cebu City.
The Gawad Tugas is conferred by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas to recognize its partners for their contribution towards effective environmental management and development. It started in 2015 and is now on its fourth year.
Carmen Copper also received the Gawad Tugas for Responsible Mining in 2015 and the same award for Forest Protection and Management in 2017.
“Carmen Copper has been a role model in responsible mining. They have shown that mining can be done responsibly and dispel the notion that it is purely destructive,” said DENR 7 Director Gilbert C. Gonzales.
DENR also awarded other outstanding groups that greatly contributed to 1) Biodiversity Conservation and Management, 2) Enforcement of Environmental Laws, 3) National Greening Program, 4) Protected Area Management, 5) Patent Issuance, 6) Clean Air and Water, 7) Solid Waste Management, and 8) Adopt-an-Estero Program.
Gonzales said that having these 14 awardees “worthy of emulation” proves that DENR has been successful in promoting environmentalism in the region.
“The responses from the different sectors and their initiatives, whether big or small, prove that all environmental issues can be resolved,” he said.
From May 2017 to June 2018, Carmen Copper has planted a total of 30,776 seedlings on existing plantations and reforestation areas out of the 96,640 seedlings produced at its own plant nurseries.
Some seedlings were donated to different groups to contribute to their various reforestation initiatives and in support to the government’s National Greening Program.
To date, Carmen Copper has rehabilitated and enriched a total of 1,738.09 hectares planted with more than two million trees, of which 88 percent or about 1.8 million are thriving to this day.
The firm’s Biga Tailings Storage Facility continues to be a strong repository of tailings produced from the milling operation, preventing discharges to the surrounding bodies of water.
The successful campaign to make safety a way of life in the mine site continues to reduce accidents in the workplace.
In the last two years, zero fatal accident has been recorded while the number of lost-time accidents also significantly dropped.
More children from poor families were sent to school with the Carmen Copper scholarship program and more families were provided livelihood opportunities under the Social Development and Management Program.
In 2017 alone, the company spent P105 million in various social development projects that aim to improve the living conditions of the residents in its host and neighboring communities.
In November 2017, Carmen Copper was honored with the Titanium Achievement Award (surface mining category) of the Presidential Mineral Industry and Environmental Award (PMIEA).
This is a national recognition of companies that practice responsible mineral resource utilization, beyond compliance initiatives in environmental protection, sustainable operations and genuine social development in the host and neighboring communities.