Published: July 2, 2012
For the very first time, a large group of Filipino geologists, mining and metallurgical engineers sat down together to discuss and formulate the general guidelines for the technical reporting of mines and prospects in the Philippines.
This happened at the recently concluded seminar workshop organized and hosted in Quezon City by the Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP) and the Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines (SMEP). The presentors are the very best in the PH minerals industry. More than 170 participants attended the workshop consisting of geologists, metallurgical engineers and mining engineers as well as investors, financial analysts and resource company representatives.
The seminar organizers endeavored to provide to, as well as garner from, mining and exploration professionals insights on the preparation of technical reports on exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves and how these can be made compatible with international reporting standards. General guidelines were then presented at the end of the two-day workshop sessions. In the past, technical reporting has never been discussed publicly in the Philippines, with practitioners preferring to have their own ways of accomplishing their reports.
Since the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) required that publicly listed mining and exploration companies adopt the 2007 Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC), Philippine technical reporting standards have been pegged to internationally accepted ones as espoused by the Committee for Mineral International Reporting Standards or CRIRSCO. The Philippines is the first country in Asia to adopt such international reporting standards.
The Philippine Stock Exchange subsequently required technical reports submitted by publicly listed companies to be written by competent persons of the accredited professional societies. Before this, any technical person, whether geologist, mining engineer and/or metallurgical engineer hired by companies can report their findings to the PSE.
According to Ciceron Angeles Jr., overall chairperson of the seminar workshop and member of the Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP)’s Competent Person Accreditation Committee (CPAC), “Now it is clear. Only ‘Competent Persons recognized by the accredited professional societies can do the reporting. Also, only geologists can report on the exploration results and mineral resources, only metallurgical engineers can report on the mineral processing of ores, and only mining engineers can report on the ore reserves and mining feasibility studies.
Further explained Angeles, “Technical reporting is very crucial in the minerals industry. It is key in guiding mining investments. It quantifies the value of the mineral wealth of a mining or exploration company as well as indicates the reliability of the estimates and inherent risks to potential investors. A not so good technical reporting of mineral assets puts a damper on foreign as well as local investments in our minerals industry.”
The Philippines is the most endowed country per unit of land area with respect to metals, next to South Africa. Its copper, gold and nickel assets are one of the largest in the world.
“Mineral wealth of our country can be one of the vital legs for our country to become a developed country, if we do it right. We can follow the paths of mineral resource-rich countries such as Australia, Canada and Chile,” said Angeles.
Even before the recently held mining seminar, geologists, metallurgical engineers as well as mining engineers who were part of the crafting of PMRC have previously expressed their desire to do a collaborative effort toward promoting best practices in technical reporting of mineral assets in the country.
“Finally, after five years that PMRC has been mandated by PSE, we have done a major step in moving toward upgrading the mining and allied professions by hosting this seminar/workshop.
We in the mining profession now recognize that a true collaborative effort among us in the preparation of a full technical report will definitely assure the investors and the investing public that, indeed, the report represents the true and best assessment of any mineral property at every stage of the project life cycle,” said Engr. Federico Monsada, the workshop vice co-chairperson.
Four major Philippine mineral deposit types were discussed. Foremost are the large porphyry copper-gold mines such as the Carmen mine in Cebu and Philex’s mine in Baguio. Vein-type gold mines such as Benguet Corporation’s Acupan mine in Baguio and Apex Mining’s Maco mine in Compostela Valley were also highlighted. Nickeliferous laterite such as those in Palawan and coal mines such as in Semirara were also discussed.
Some of the notable guests who graced the event included representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Philippine Chamber of Mines, and the Professional Regulation Commission’s Regulatory Boards on Mining Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, and Geology.