“Let’s all be members of the crew, rather than passengers of the ship”.
At my young age, I counted myself before as a believer of anti-mining. I had seen miners as monsters with picks, shovels, drills and big equipment to tear our Earth and destroy the sanctity of the environment.
CARAGA Region is the mining capital of Mindanao and Surigao del Norte. My province is also gifted as metallogenetic. We can’t deny the fact that there are many investors trying to invest from our natural resources. The Silangan Mindanao Mining Company, Incorporated (SMMCI) and other Mining companies are here in our vicinity to dig copper (Cu) and Gold (Au). These mines are used for innovations as we are pacing towards the demands of modernization. Practically, gold are processed for jewelry and ornaments; dental alloys and copper for electrical wires; brass; bronze and water pipes and other innovative gadgets. These minerals are searched, dug and processed to give comfortable and convenient living to humanity.
One day, I was given a chance to visit and observe the Environment site of SMMCI. At first, I was picturing an image of a place which has many drilled holes, wastes scattered around and trees cut indiscriminatingly. Thinking of those, I felt horrible! But as I set foot into the actual site, the scenery amazed me because it was the total opposite of what I was picturing in my mind. I have seen that they are finding ways to manage their solid wastes from the biggest to the smallest form and even their liquid wastes. The worn-out boots are utilized as plant boxes, and would you believe they also recycled onto customized sandals. In addition, they are also collecting plastic bottles, glass bottles and junk iron bars for sale. I have also seen the proper segregation of wastes into “malata”, “di malata” and “mapuslan pa”. The degradable wastes are composted to become organic fertilizers. And these fertilizers are used for their own vegetations and the excess are sold. They also have vermiculture as another source of income.
As I went up to campsite with some of the personnel, I witnessed how they rare plants through their nursery which include hardwoods, fruit trees and etc. They also raise vegetables and orchids. Every corner I saw was green, clean, organize and pleasing to my eyes. When I left the site, the sad face turns into a smiley face for I was inspired.
For me, it was such an educational trip but it does not end up there, because I also observed how water and oil are separated. The two liquids are separated for the oil to be sold and for the water to be used for watering the plants and the road. Before water is used, it is checked first, if it is free from contamination. This also protects the fauna species.
Aside from their environmental concerns, I have also learned and appreciated that they are granting rehabilitation projects; scholarships; medical missions; adopting schools; employments and community development programs. Conserving and preserving the environment is everyone’s responsibility and concern. With the experience I had in the Envi site, it serves as a mind opener to be a responsible citizen at a young age. The awesome beauty and the vastness of the nature broaden my perceptions in life.
I have realized that not all miners are monsters that will disturb our Earth, rather they are members of the crew and not just merely passengers of the ship. They are not only after for riches or for their own benefits. They are here to care, enlighten, educate, empower, build and protect. For sustaining wealth creation and developed quality of life therefore, there is really green economy and life in mining.
I too, will do my share. Count me in.
This is a feature article which won first prize during the MGB CARAGA Region Environment Month Celebration Culminating activity's essay writing contest. The piece was written by Mary Joessa G. Ajoc, a 4th year student of Amando A. Fabio National High School, Bgy. Sta. Cruz, Placer, Surigao del Norte.