June 13, 2021 at 07:55 pm
Manila Standard Business
The Offshore Mining Chamber of the Philippines said over the weekend it received many expressions of interest from major world players in offshore mining to explore opportunities in the country following President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order No. 130 to revitalize the sector.
Among them are Primetals Technologies of Austria; Duro Felguera of Spain; funders from Switzerland; international JORC and VALMIN professional practitioners from Singapore, Indonesia, Europe and Australia; and other offshore mining-related companies from Indonesia, Malta, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Among the Japanese companies are Nakanishi Shipbuilding, Kurimoto Iron Works, Kansai Design Company and JTrade Company.
The OMCP urged the government to approve offshore mining tenement applications only from legitimate offshore mining companies, with adequate capital, proven technical expertise and demonstrated capability to engage and deploy offshore equipment for proper exploration, seabed scientific research, and sea bottom profiling facilities.
OMCP chairman Gary Olivar said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should start a review of mine tenement ownership systems and processes, with a view towards delisting inactive tenement claims.
“Land banking can occur offshore as well as onshore, and must be curbed in the greater interest of spurring this new industry to contribute to the country’s recovery,” Olivar said.
Olivar lauded one of OMCP’s members, Cagayan Blue Ocean Offshore Aquamarine Services Corp., which invested heavily in an offshore exploration tugboat called “AHTS NOAH”.
After paying all applicable duties and taxes, the vessel is now docked at Manila Port, from where it will soon be deployed in the waters off Cagayan and Pangasinan provinces for scientific offshore exploration, environmentally safe dredging of flood-stricken areas and widening of rivers and offshore areas.
With specialized equipment like the HY600 HC cable dredge, the “NOAH” can see up to 100 meters below the sea crust for proper quantification of mineral resources under the ocean. Its capability to do sea bottom profiles can identify objects to be avoided like corals, cables, vintage bombs, sunken vessels and others.
The “NOAH” can do efficient trenching of hardened magnetite iron deposits buried under the sea for millions of years, hence keeping the seabed ready for continuing bulk export shipments in the future. It can also be used for anchor handling, fuel and water offshore logistical support, emergency facility for any contingencies and other offshore marine services.
CBO is engaged by JDVC Resources Corp. and parent Apollo Global Capital, a PSE listed company, for preparing the seabed, bulk sampling, efficient trenching of JDVC’s offshore areas of operation and other seabed developmental stages preparatory to actual commercial production and export of magnetite iron.
The OMCP intends to establish the gold standard for best practices in offshore mining in the country. Its activities will include self-policing and CSR accountabilities of its members; custody of records of mine reserves for proper monitoring, effective payment of export excise taxes to the government; correct payment of mineral reservation fees to DENR; and public information through seminars/webinars and other programs.
The chamber intends to achieve fiscal autonomy for the industry; professional recognition by multilateral organizations and financial institutions; and tie-ups with engineering schools for development of professionals.