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News > Semirara to complete mine site rehab

Semirara to complete mine site rehab

SMPC has two operating mines in the island which are the Molave and Narra Pits, of which about 70 percent of its production is for local demand while the rest is for export.

 

MANILA, Philippines -  Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) of the Consunji group is targeting to complete the rehabilitation of its depleted mine site in the island as early as 2020 in a bid to restore the topography and ecological balance of the open-pit mine.

 

Filling up the Panian open-pit mine, depending on weather conditions, is targeted in 2020 or 2021, SMPC chairman and chief executive officer Isidro Consunji said in an interview.

 

“It depends on the weather. It’s a moving target but more or less, 2020, 2021,” he said.

 

In rehabilitating the pit, Consunji said the bigger cost will go to reshaping the land and making the soil conducive to vegetation, which would come in toward the target year of completion.

 

“Right now, our costs are incidental because we are using the pit as a dumping site of a portion of the new mines. The biggest expense in rehabilitation is not that, it’s the shaping of the land after dumping and seeding it,” he said.

 

Completely filling the Southern Panian pit would require more than 600,000 bank cubic meters (BCM) of overburden materials to reach its target. 

 

SMPC is using overburden materials from its Molave and Narra pits to fill up Panian pit to return the mined-out area to productive use.

 

As of June 2017, the in-pit of Southern Panian has been filled up with 66.4 million BCM of overburden materials, which is more than 70 percent of the 90 million BCM year-end target. 

 

Once completely filled, the in-pit of Southern Panian would no longer look like an open pit with a final elevation around +40 meters at the north side, +40 meters at the central barricade and +35 meters at the south side.

 

The company will also cover the area with humic acid, compost and other materials to add nutrients to the soil. This will be followed by a massive reforestation program that includes endemic and suitable plant species. 

 

“The Panian area used to have rolling hills of open grasslands with a variety of shrubs and trees. Our end goal is to restore Panian to its original landscape, and create an even more vibrant ecosystem in the area,” SMPC president and chief operating officer Victor Consunji said.

 

The Panian pit was closed in October 2016 following the depletion of its mineable coal reserves, which was certified by the Department of Energy after its visit to Semirara Island in September.

 

Prior to pre-mine operation, Panian area was characterized by rolling hills of open grasslands and numerous gullies with shrubs and trees.

 

Panian is one of the open-pit mines in the 55-square kilometer area in Semirara Island, apart from the Unong Mine which ceased operations in 2000, which is now fully vegetated with thriving aquatic population in its restored lake 17 years after. 

 

SMPC has two operating mines in the island which are the Molave and Narra Pits, of which about 70 percent of its production is for local demand while the rest is for export.

 

Source: Philippine Star