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RTNMC gears up for 1st ASEAN Mineral Awards

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Philippines’ bet for Search in Best Mining Practices…

Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) tops the three companies shortlisted for the Best Practices in Mineral Mining category in the first ever ASEAN Minerals Awards (AMA) in recognition of Best Practices in Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Mineral Development.

The other two nominees are a gold mining company from Indonesia and the largest cement group in Thailand.

From the submissions by Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, the Board of Judges chose the top three finalists with RTNMC, an affiliate of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), emerging at the top of the list.

The other two categories are Best Practices in Mineral Processing (including Smelting), and Best Practices in Minerals Distribution (including Transportation, Handling, Storage).

The finalists in the three categories will make their final presentations to the Board of Judges in NawPyiDaw, Myanmar (formerly Burma) on November 28 with each presentation lasting a maximum of 15 minutes.  The winners for all three categories will be announced during the gala dinner of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals on November 30 in the Myanmar capital city.

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RICE grows healthily at the demo farm after the rehabilitation of the mined areas. Proof that mined areas can be transformed into farmlands after demineralizing it.| Photo by JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS

Gerard Brimo, NAC and RTNMC President and CEO, was elated by the selection of the company as the Philippine’s entry to ASEAN Minerals Awards in the Category of “Best Practices in Mineral Mining”.

“Having been picked as one of the top three finalists is already a distinct honor for Rio Tuba Nickel Mining, as well as for Nickel Asia Corporation,” said Brimo.

The selection of RTNMC, Brimo added “is a recognition of the four decades of Responsible mining that has been practiced at Rio Tuba.” RTNMC is operating in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza, Palawan.

“Thanks to the vision of the company’s pioneers and the dedication and professionalism of all who have worked and who continue to work there,” he said.


The AMA was established to honor mining companies from the ASEAN communities for their contributions in the advancement of responsible and environment-friendly mining.

It is a project of the Special Task Force (STF) under the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals (ASOMM).

Composing the STF are representatives from the ASEAN Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to its guidelines, the AMA aims to promote environmentally and socially sustainable mineral development, improve the general perception/image of the mineral industry, disseminate best practices in the mineral sector (mining, transportation, processing, etc.), increase public awareness on Best Practices in Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Mineral Development.

It also aims to improve and enhance the Best Practices in mineral industries, strengthen regional cooperation and encourage sharing of expertise, and, encourage private sector participation for community development.

The AMA recognizes contributions involving actual impacts on community development, implications on ASEAN minerals supply, human resource development, productivity and resource efficiency, and actual measures to address health, safety and environmental performance.


The ASEAN Secretariat sent out an open invitation to the public when the search began for companies that will represent the Philippines to AMA.

NAC was among the firsts to submit its entry – sharing success stories and achievements in responsible and sustainable development of mineral resources.

In response to NAC’s entry, Environment Undersecretary Mario Luis J. Jacinto of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), said that they find the NAC submission as “very impressive.”

USec. Jacinto made the announcement that RTNMC was chosen to represent the Philippines to AMA last March.

“After strict evaluation of the eight entries submitted for the said Category, the Philippine AMA Technical Working Committee found your entry to be worthy to represent the country in the AMA,” USec. Jacinto wrote to NAC Chairman Manuel B. Zamora, Jr.

Also in his letter, Jacinto advised that RTNMC will be competing with other entries from ASEAN countries, where winners from each Category will be deliberated on by a Board of Judges.

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THANKS to the selfless dedication and hardworks of Palaw-an workers who are employed for the rehabilitation of mined out areas.|Photo by JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS


Acting as the Philippine Focal Point, the MGB started the process of selecting thru a consultative meeting with industry leaders and other government heads early this year.

The MGB created the PH-AMA Committee composed of technical experts from the bureau, other government authorities, universities, professional groups, and research institutions.

It started accepting and screening nominees last February.  The official entries were submitted to the Board of Judges (BOJ), headed by the Indonesian Focal Point, before March 31, 2017.

A country can submit only one entry per category.  One winner and two runners-up will be chosen for each category.

The BOJ was created among STF members who will evaluate and select the winners based on the Guidelines previously formulated by the STF members.

The winners for each category will be awarded with a trophy and a Certificate and the runners-up will be given a Certificate.|NAC Bulletin with reports from the Mineral Economics, Information and Publications Division

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