The need for regional cooperation in the face of increasing resource nationalism, weakened global demand, and the growing call for miners to minimize their environmental impact were among the issues discussed in the 6thPrivate Sector Forum on Cooperation in Minerals in ASEAN jointly hosted and organized by the Chamber of the Mines of the Philippines (COMP) and the ASEAN Federation of Mining Associations (AFMA) in Manila recently.

COMP Chairman Gerard H. Brimo, said “ASEAN member countries are crucial suppliers of mined commodities, collectively producing a significant portion of the world’s gold, nickel, coal, and tin.  If promoted consistently and regulated rationally, minerals may emerge as a main growth driver is Asia’s economy; it could play a crucial part in supporting our shared aspiration for an ASEAN economic community by 2020.

“Data and information on best practices will allow AFMA members to benchmark policies and regulations against each other in the region and “can help greatly in facilitation this exchange of information,” he added. “AFMA can foster cooperation and mutual assistance among the members, allowing us to form consistent positions on key issues and propose policy recommendations that would promote a competitive and dynamic mining industry in the ASEAN region,” Brimo added.

In his keynote speech, AFMA President and Malaysian Chamber of Mines (MCM) President Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd Ajib Anuar stressed that mining is a key pillar for the ASEAN’s diversified economy, and remains a significant driver for the growth of rural economies, as well as the manufacturing, construction, utilities and energy sectors.  In his presentation entitled “Value Creation Model and Responsible Business in ASEAN’s Mining Industry”, Anuar noted growth opportunities in new resources discovery, mergers and acquisitions, operational improvements, capacity expansion, as well as new markets and end uses.

Delegates from Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, Laos and Cambodia, as well as representatives from South Korea, Japan and the USA participated in the paper presentations of Myanmar Federation of Mining Associations (MFMA) Vice Chair Aye Lewin, and COMP Executive Director Ronald S. Recidoro.

The Forum coincided with the ASEAN Senior Officials on Minerals Meeting (ASOMM) + 3 (China, South Korea and Japan) Consultations – hosted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) – from December 4 to 6, 2018.

AFMA was formed in June 19, 1984 as a result of the efforts and cooperation amongst its four founding members, namely COMP, MCM, Indonesian Mining Association, and the Mining Industry Council of Thailand.  MFMA is AFMA’s newest member. The federation hopes to bring to the attention of ASEAN member states issues and challenges currently faced by the mineral resource industry in the region towards achieving responsible and sustainable mining and their impact on the economic and social development in the ASEAN, as well as providing recommendations to mitigate such issues and challenges.