Deputy Minister Oliphant presents South Africa's Mining Model
Attendees of Mining Conference: Deputy Minister Oliphant (bottom centre) is flanked by from L-R: Engr. Carlos Tayag (President of the Northern Luzon Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSME), Engr. Cesar Lao-as (President of PSME), Ambassador Delia Albert (Founder of Diwata), H. E. Agnes Nyamande-Pitso and other PSME Board Members at the back.
The Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant’s visit to the Philippines from the 12–17 November 2012, was a resounding success. The visit not only strengthened links with the mining sector but also gave the Mission an opportunity to brand South Africa effectively outside Manila in Baguio which is a major mining metropolitan area. The Deputy Minister was invited as a keynote speaker to address the 59th Annual Philippines Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) in Baguio City.
Deputy Minister Oliphant cuts the ribbon to officially open the Mining Conference flanked by President of PMSEA, Mr. Louie Sarmiento and President of PSME, Engr. Cesar Lao-as.
On the first day of the visit the Deputy Minister met with the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Ramon Paje; the Chamber of Mines; and Gold Fields (GF) in Manila where notes on mining and the environment were exchanged. The Deputy Minister’s visit to the Philippines highlighted the prominence of South Africa in the world of mining, and stressed the role of government policies in ensuring responsible and sustainable mining for the benefit of the majority. The visit was also a reaffirmation of South Africa’s investment in the mining sector of the Philippines with GF as one of the biggest foreign investors in Lepanto’s Far Southeast Gold Resources Inc. (FSRI).
The Mission leveraged on the Deputy Minister’s visit by arranging a month long South African promotion which included a food and wine festival, a film festival and exhibitions at the mining conference and the University. All these activities were officially opened by the Deputy Minister. This promotion will conclude with a prize giving ceremony for students who will write the best essay, relating their story to mining in South Africa. In addition to the mining conference, the Mission arranged for the Deputy Minister to speak with students, local community leaders, indigenous peoples groups as well as Women in Resource Development INC (DIWATA) which is linked to mining in the area.
Mr. Ernesto Villaluna, Director of Philex Mines greets Ambassador Delia Albert, H.E. Agnes Nyamande-Pitso, Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant, Engr. Cesar Lao-as (President of PSME) and Mr. Sam Paragas from the Miens and Geo-Sciences Bureau at the Opening Ceremony of the Mining Conference.
The visit provided further impetus to the deepening of structured bilateral relations following the signing of the Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) agreement in New York on 27 September 2012 by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Philippines counterpart Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario. The Deputy Minister referred to the BCF agreement in his speeches and stressed that mining should form part of future bilateral consultations.
SA Embassy Manila, Philippines