By Madelaine Miraflor
Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), the country’s largest nickel miner, has ramped up its rehabilitation efforts and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in all its mine sites, particularly in Surigao del Norte.
Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of NAC and an exporter of saprolite and limonite ore, invited a group of Manila-based journalists last week to give updates on its rehabilitation efforts as well as CSR programs in its area.
Issued in 2007, HMC’s mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) covers mine area of 773.77 hectares in Barangay Talavera, Hinatuan Island, municipality of Tagana-an, province of Surigao del Norte.
The company’s operation is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation. The mine’s declared disturbed area as of now stood at 423 hectares. HMC Environmental Specialist Jameson Bandala said in an interview with reporters that disturbed areas at HMC site cover as much as 55 percent of the MPSA, while there are still around 350 hectares, or 45 percent, that remain untouched.
Of the disturbed area, Bandala said that 79 hectares, or 14 percent, have already been rehabilitated and that rehabilitation activities covering 59 hectares are ongoing.
“We are planting non-bearing and bearing trees including palm oil, calamansi, mango, bamboo, cacao, and coffee. As of now, we are on the trial stage to see if these products can be eventually distributed for local consumption,” Bandala said.