The Cebu-based Carmen Copper Corporation will continue to go beyond compliance and carry on as a model for responsible mining amid outrage about the destruction caused by some mining operations in the country.
“We urge fellow miners to comply with our laws. With compliance, we remove issues like the conflict between revenues and the environment. We can have revenues but at the same time protect the environment,” said Roy Deveraturda, vice president for safety, health, environment and external affairs of Carmen Copper Corporation.
He admitted that many mining companies have not complied with environment laws generating complaints from the public.
Even President Rodrigo R. Duterte articulated this outrage on the destruction of the environment wrought by irresponsible mining operations during his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).
MODEL FOR RESPONSIBLE MINING
However, Deveraturda urged fellow miners to go beyond compliance. “Obeying our laws is not enough when it comes to government regulations and policies to protect the environment,” said Deveraturda.
“Of course, there is something that we call responsible mining. Carmen Copper is moving forward as a model for responsible mining,” he said.
Carmen Copper Corporation is one of the largest operating copper mines in the country engaged in metallic mining and mineral exploration development. Located in Barangay Don Andres Soriano in Toledo City, Cebu, Carmen Copper is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation.
The company passed the very strict standards of former environment secretary Gina Lopez, Deveraturda pointed out.
The mining firm also bagged the Best Mining Forest award for metallic category of the Dept. for Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (“PMSEA”).
In 2013 and 2014, DENR 7 also awarded Carmen Copper with the Best National Greening Program Implementor in the region.
In 2015, DENR 7 conferred the Gawad Tugas award for Responsible Mining to Carmen Copper for its outstanding rehabilitation of more than 375 hectares of mining impact areas, identification of tree species suited for rehabilitation of mining dumped areas, donation of 217,077 seedlings to the community, generation of local employment opportunities and for channeling portion of the Mine Rehabilitation Fund for rehabilitation of mine impact areas.
In June 2017, Carmen Copper again received DENR 7 Gawad Tugas for forest protection and management for having displayed and demonstrated innovation, ingenuity and investment in environmental protection, conservation and management of its forests.