THPAL snags Presidential environmental award

By Danilo Adorador, III

March 8, 2021, 7:33 pm

SURIGAO CITY--Mineral processing plant Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) has scored its first Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In a statement Monday, THPAL said the MGB and the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) have announced the company as the winner of the Best Mining Forest Award in the mineral processing plant category for 2020.

THPAL said it also placed runner-up in the safest mines award in the same category.

Established by Executive Order 399 in 1997, the annual awards seek to recognize mining industry players for "outstanding levels of dedication, initiative, and innovation in the pursuit of excellence in environmental management, development of host and neighboring communities, land use improvement, exploration, and mining site rehabilitation and final decommissioning."

According to MGB, the awards pushed through despite the coronavirus disease pandemic, with the awards committee conducting offsite validations on 18 contenders through the use of technology and with the help of the MGB's regional offices.

The PMIEA evaluation committee is composed of the DENR secretary and the president of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines as co-chairpersons, with the secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, and presidents of the PMSEA and the Philippine Mineral Exploration Association as members.

"This recognition speaks of THPAL’s commitment towards community transformation, environmental protection, and promotion of safety culture. This is in line with the philosophy of total development by improving the quality of life while caring for the wealth of creation given to mankind. The Management is grateful to all employees who exerted their tireless effort to make THPAL’s commitment possible, and this award is just an outcome of such relentless dedication,” THPAL Plant Manager Osamu Nakai said.

Based in the Surigao del Norte town of Claver, THPAL is a hydrometallurgical processing plant that uses the "high-pressure acid leach" method to convert the low‐grade nickel laterite ore to produce nickel and cobalt mixed sulfide. The product is exported to Japan, where it is processed further to manufacture medical tools and equipment, electronic batteries, and other industrial materials. (PNA)