In the photo are NERC International Associate Director Dr. Sarah Webb and PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, together with various researchers and industry key stakeholders, during the UK-Philippines Minerals and Mining Scoping Meeting held on March 3-5, 2020 at Hotel Astoria, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Achieving sustainability in the minerals industry and charting a greener community, researchers from UK and Philippines bagged research grants to facilitate and develop innovative solutions that can promote responsible mining and maximize value-adding from minerals.
Of the 18 proposals received online, these five research projects stood out during the selection process conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and UK Research & Innovation - Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC). They are the following:
- SusNi or Developing a Sustainable pathway for the Philippine Nickel sector - Spearheaded by Paul Lusty of British Geological Survey-UK and Prof. Romell Seronay from Caraga State University-Philippines, the project aims to assess the impacts of mining, explore novel techniques for mineral exploration, metal extraction and recovery, and environmental monitoring, all considered within the socio-economic context of the Caraga Region, using an approach based on Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA).
- PROMT or Philippines Remediation of Mine Tailings - this project initiated by Prof. Gawen Jenkin from the University of Leicester-UK and Prof. Carlo Arcilla of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Philippines will build an innovative research program to test sustainable tailings management, remediation and rehabilitation. It aims to produce tailings with less water consumption and greater stability and show how they can be monitored and adaptively managed in real time. Also, it will enable the processing of modern and legacy tailings to recover more metals, while decontaminating them, encouraging rehabilitation and long-term stabilization and reuse of the associated ecosystem services.
- The Philippine Mining at the National to Catchment Scale: from Legacy Impacts to Sustainable Futures - headed by Dr. Richard Williams from the University of Glasgow-UK and Dr. Decibel Faustino-Eslava from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Philippines, the project aims to develop a proposal to realize a combined geomorphological and biogeochemical based management approach to remediate waste and protect the environment, at national- to catchment-scales. This will enable catchment management practitioners to remediate legacy metal mining impacts and protect ecosystems as well as humans from the potentially negative effects of metal mine contaminants arising from current and future mining activities.
- Systems Approach for Greener, Eco-efficient and Sustainable mineral resource management or SAGES - Led by Dr Pablo Rafael Brito Parada of Imperial College London-UK and Dr. Arnel Beltran of the De La Salle University-Philippines, the project brings together the multi-disciplinary expertise of industry leaders, scientists, technology experts, community leaders and policy makers to develop a research programme for greener, eco-efficient, and sustainable mineral resource management in the Philippines
SAGES will develop a circular economy mining framework using a systems approach to address three mine waste categories: tailings and silts, mine drainage, and polluted soils. Transforming legacy mines into future mines and mine wastes into secondary resources can simultaneously reduce waste generation, provide additional economic benefits to stakeholders, empower host communities and improve rehabilitation programmes. This project will supply the paradigm shift necessary to stimulate growth of the resource extraction sector in the Philippines.
- A framework for the sustainable development of marine mineral resources in the Philippines - Headed by Dr. Ian Selby from the University of Plymouth-UK and Engr. Teodorico Sandoval of Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Philippines, the project will promote socio-economic development and personal and community welfare through constructive sharing of experience, expertise and innovation in managing offshore mineral resources. This includes mineral exploration, resource assessment and management, governance, policymaking, regulation and planning, use of innovative technologies from exploration to monitoring, and researching environmental impact assessments, environmental risks, mitigation and monitoring performance.
The project will research, share and develop knowledge, experience, technologies and best practices from exploration, resource management, regulation, environmental impact assessments, permitting, and extraction across all marine mineral resource activities.
These research projects will enable the development of detailed and fully co-designed research proposals to generate an entire system view of sustainable mineral resources in the Philippines.
In this PH-UK call for proposals, the selected projects will receive a partnership and project development (PPD) grant of up to £50K (at 80%FEC from NERC) and 1.6M Philippine Peso (~£26K from DOST-PCIEERD) that may be used to support some preliminary research activity where it is necessary for developing the detailed research questions for the strategic large grant project proposal.
PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit is confident that this collaboration between the Philippines and UK will lead to the increase of productivity and reduction of eco footprints in the country's mining industry.
“The Council is grateful for this partnership with UKRI-NERC and for joining us in strengthening the mining sector in the Philippines through research and development. As a leader and preferred partner in enabling research and development, DOST-PCIEERD will remain steadfast in finding ways to promote innovation in the mining sector, find new ways of rehabilitating mined areas, develop solutions that support a green future, capacitate and empower researchers on minerals and mining, as well as boost competitiveness and productivity of university laboratories and facilities to conduct research,” Paringit said,
“We are pleased to be partnering with DOST-PCIEERD to enable UK and Philippine researchers to develop truly collaborative research projects which we hope will lead to sustainable pathways to mineral production in the Philippines. Funding will support the development of a strategic large grant proposal to address essential research needs following the initial partnership building phase,” added Sarah Webb, Associate Director for International of UKRI-NERC.
The call for strategic Large Grants will open in May 2021 until July 2021. Joint NERC/DOST-PCIEERD funds will be used to award up to two strategic Large Grant projects in this call which will run for a maximum duration of 36 months. The total funds available from DOST-PCIEERD are up to 15 million PHP (~£236K) per Large Grant and NERC will contribute up to £1.2M (80%FEC) per Large Grant project (£1.5M at 100% FEC and FCC).