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Semirara spends P2.9 B for mine pit rehab

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By Myrna M. Velasco

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation has spent P2.92 billion last year for the rehabilitation of the Panian pit of its coal mining operations in Antique province.

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Of the total amount, the Consunji firm said P1.83 billion has been forked out for the acquisition of dump trucks, excavators and other support equipment “to ramp up the company’s stripping and hauling operations.”

Further, the company indicated that roughly P1.0 billion had been expended for fuel as well as labor and other cost components in the rehabilitation works for Panian pit.

SMPC qualified that this venture is in line with the mandate of the Department of Energy (DOE) back in 2017, for the company “to expedite backfilling of Panian pit (the south portion).”

And when that work is accomplished, the firm asserted that the government’s intent is to align it “ as a model for open pit mine rehabilitation in the Philippines.”

By early part of last year, the Consunji company narrated that it unloaded “120 million bank cubic meters (BCM) of overburden materials into the southern portion of Panian pit,” enabling its elevation then to reach 0-meter.

SMPC qualified that such had been “a dramatic improvement from its starting elevation of -260 meters,” which by comparison is about the height of a 78-storey building.

As explained by the company, “once the pit has been completely filled-in, SMPC will put humic acid, compost and other materials to restore soil nutrients in the area,” then reforestation initiatives will come as a follow-through.

“SMPC will then plant tree species that are endemic in the area,” the company stressed. It has to be noted that the Panian pit was shut down as early as September in 2016 due to depletion of mineable coal reserves in that site.

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