Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc. (ISRI) is a 100%-owned subsidiary acquired by the Company in June 2015. ISRI is the assignee-company in 2002 of all mining assets of the former Itogon-Suyoc Mines, Inc. (ISMI), which consist of the Sangilo Mine in Itogon and the Suyoc Mine in Mankayan, both located in Benguet Province, and the Benit Claim in Labo, Camarines Norte.
The Sangilo Mine declared commercial operation on 31 July 2020 at 200 tonnes per day (tpd) within its 35 hectare-patent claims. However, due to the pandemic, the mine only operated at 75 tpd. There was reduced manpower in the mine site as a result of community lockdown and quarantine protocols implemented in major cities and municipalities in Benguet Province. Major imported supplies like sodium cyanide and parts needed for repair and maintenance of major machinery and equipment were out-of-stock and not readily available due to importation restrictions also caused by the pandemic.
A total of 582 hectares of Sangilo Mine is in the process of renewal, covered by Application for Production Sharing Agreement (APSA) No. 0103-CAR. An additional 317 hectares adjacent to the tenement denominated as APSA-67-CAR are also being applied for renewal.
Upon acquisition of ISRI by APEX in June 2015, ISRI embarked in the rehabilitation of Sangilo Mine. Full scale construction work commenced in January 2019 upon securing bank financing in December 2018; its Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) for 200 tpd operation was issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in September 2018.
The development plan for Sangilo Mine is in three stages: initial stage-1 at low-tonnage 50-75 tpd start-up; intermediate stage-2 at 200 tpd operation, and stage-3 at 400-500 tpd within the succeeding five years.
Suyocs Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for 200 tpd has been approved and granted by the Regional Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in February 2021. Meanwhile, the requirements for the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) is being worked out for submission and approval by the MGB.
Always a responsible miner, ISRI actively contributes to the social development of its host and neighboring communities. In 2020, it spent P1.57 million for community services, including financial assistance for health services, facilities and medical professionals, support to local schools, sponsorship of livelihood trainings for local residents, and assistance to infrastructure and facilities improvement in Barangays Ampucao and Poblacion, in the Municipality of Itogon, Baguio City and in La Trinidad Municipality (all in the province of Benguet).
In compliance with the MGB-Central Office Memorandum: Realignment of SDMPs Unutilized Funds to Support Affected Impact and Non-Impact Communities due to COVID-19, a portion of the SDMP funds was realigned for the provision of food packs and medical supplies distributed to local communities in support of Bayanihan to Heal as One Act as assistance.
ISRI spent another P1.48 million to assist its host and neighboring communities and municipalities through donation of relief in the form of food, medicines/vitamins, face masks, face shields, disinfectants, and other basic needs, including financial assistance for virtual educational programs and other school needs.
In 2020, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic-induced, ISRI carried out its Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) projects. The total spend amounted to P6.05 million (89% of its annual budget of P6.78 million).
In keeping with its environmental management and protection campaign, ISRI propagated 23,009 assorted seedlings in its nursery during the year. It donated 1,100 seedlings to the surrounding communities in support of the different local reforestation programs. It also conducted a reforestation operation at the Tabaan patent claim, planting 13,115 seedlings covering an area of 6.2 hectares.
ISRI won three prestigious recognitions Safest Exploration (Category B), Underground Mining Category and Most Improved Safety Performance at the 2020 Safest Mines Awards of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA).
Best Personalities Award for Underground Mining Operations also went to two of ISRIs employees: Danny V. Peralta (Best Underground Safety Inspector) and Carlos T. Uyan (Best Underground Mine Supervisor).
Although still on the exploration stage and not yet operational, Suyoc does its share in the development of its host community, including the local residents. In 2020, Suyoc spent P467 thousand of its Community Development Programs, financing the following: financial assistance and subsidy to Day Care worker; equipment, furniture and supplies for Suyoc Elementary School; equipment (PPEs, etc) and supplies (first aid and hygiene kits, etc) for the front-liners for the management of COVID 19; and financial assistance to organic and hog farming for Taneg community members/farmers.
Suyoc maintains its own nursery which propagates pine trees and coffee seedlings for planting in its tenements and local communities. It has adopted a reforestation site at Sitio Elizabeth covering 7 hectares where the mine continues to plant and maintain pine and guava trees. It also donated 1000 coffee seedlings to Taneg Womens Association (TWA) coffee plantation project and to other reforestation projects in the local communities.
The Suyoc Mine was recertified for ISO 14001:2015 (environmental management system) by the TUV Rheinland in March 2020. The scope of the certification is for mining exploration and project development valid until 2023.
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