Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC) has launched ‘DiSCUBA’, a program that aims to get more people in the mining community of Claver and adjacent towns in Surigao del Norte to experience and appreciate diving, considered as a expensive sport and only for the elite.
TMC, a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), has a different objective for introducing the sport which is to invite more people to become environment warriors – protectors of the environment especially of the marine resources around the mine site.
Agapito S. Cuadra, Jr., a marine biologist and TMC’s coastal resource management specialist, says “I have seen many dive spots, in and out of protected areas, near and far from mine sites, and the learnings are the same, that if we do not introduce structured protection programs, these dive spots will be endangered.”
But, Cuadra says, seeing is believing. Thus, DiSCUBA, a portmanteau of Discover and Scuba, was launched to bring more people to see the underwater beauty around the mine site.
“The pilot program will first have TMC employees as participants – 2 per department – each of whom will go through a medical check-up and thorough orientation before the actual dive,” Cuadra details.
Cuadra shares that the cost of a basic dive in a commercial setting starts at around P6500 pesos so he believes that the success of DiSCUBA is a matter of commitment from TMC.
TMC is the first mining company to have this kind of program and Engr. Artemio E. Valeroso, resident mine manager, is proud and excited saying that the program aims to prove that miners are also environment protectors.
The mining company has adopted the Malingin islet, some 791 meters from the wharf of TMC and about 1,234 meters or 1.2km from the mouth of Taganito river.
Because of strict health protocols due to the pandemic, participants will be limited and dive suits will not be shared and will be disinfected for 7 days before it can be used again.
TMC mine site is located in barangays Cagdianao, Hayanggabon, Taganito and Urbiztondo, municipality of Claver, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.