Dr. Rowena P. Varela, VP for Research and Extension, was invited by the International Mining for Development Center (IM4DC) as panelist during the M4D Alumni Forum and Conference 2015 in Perth, Australia. The conference theme is, “Shared Goals – Realizing Benefits” which anchors on sub-themes: Engage, Develop, Empower and Influence. She shared her and her project team’s experience in engaging with nickel mining industry and other stakeholders on progressive mine rehabilitation, which drew a lot of interests among the conference participants. She talked about how the engagement started, in what specific areas the engagement is, and the outputs and benefits derived from the engagement. She highlighted her project’s engagement with Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) and Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) on progressive mine rehabilitation promoting the ecobelt concept. She likewise shared that additional engagements are underway with two more mining companies, namely Platinum Groups Metal Corporation (PGMC) and San Roque Metals Inc. (SRMI).
The Progressive Mine Rehabilitation Project in Nickel Areas is funded by the Philippine Council of Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD). It started to engage with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of Caraga Region, Environmental Management Bureau-13, the Caraga Mining Chamber and the Local Government Units (LGUs) where the mining operation is located.
Her participation in the forum was made possible by the sponsorship ofAusAid through the IM4DC. Dr Varela is an IM4DC Fellow. It can be recalled that in 2014, she attended a course on ‘Environmental Management in Mining’ at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia through a fellowship under theAusAid/IM4DC.