About 15 Mongolians involved in Artisanal Small-Scale Mining (ASSM) visited South Cotabato over the weekend to learn first-hand the “best practices” of the thriving small-scale gold mining industry in the province of South Cotabato, officials said here Saturday.
Speaking during a news conference atthe South Cotabato provincial capitol, Provincial Environment and Management office (PEMO) chief Siegfred Flaviano said NGO BAN Toxics, PEMO partner in its province-wide campaign for Mercury-free mining, accompanied the Mongolians in their tour.
“They were impressed how the province managed the small mining activities and they would like to emulate it,” Flaviano said in Filipino.
To show effective PEMO practices to ensure environment-friendly mining activities, he presented to visiting Mongolian miners the “Galing Pook-awarded Minahang Bayanihan” Program of the province through an audio-visual presentation which was translated by the group’s interpreter.
Cesar Sulit, South Cotabato Provincial Tourism Officer, welcomed the Mongolian delegation and presented them South Cotabato’s tourism programs.
After meeting with South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes, BAN Toxics toured the group to a Mercury-Free Ball Mill facility in Poblacion, T’boli to witness first-hand the processing of concentrated gold ore using borax.
The Mongolians also visited the mining site in Kematu, T’boli and the province’s summer capital Lake Sebu.
Through and interpreter, the Mongolians lauded the provincial government program and declared what they have learned here will be emulated back home.