Semirara Mining and Power Corp. said it is on track to rehabilitate and restore the topography and ecological balance of Panian open pit mine in Semirara Island, Antique.
“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,” Semirara Mining president and chief operating officer Victor Consunji said.
Semirara Mining applied for a land use plan for the Panian mine in the fourth quarter last year, following the closure of the mine after the depletion of mineable coal reserves.
“We want to turn over something that will continue to benefit the government and host community. Island sustainability is our main concern,” Consunji said earlier.
The mine depletion was certified by the Energy Department after its visit to Semirara Island on Sept. 20 to 21, 2016.
Semirara Mining said in a statement that to return the mine-out area to production use, it was using overburden materials from Molave and Narra pits to fill up the Panian pit.
The in-pit of the Southern Panian has been filled up with 66.4 million bank cubic meters or BCM of overburden materials as of June, which was more than 70 percent of the 90 million BCM target of overburden materials.
Once completely filled, the in-pit of Southern Panian would no longer look like an open pit.
Semirara Mining said it would 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 would include protecting endemic and suitable plant species.
Aside from the Panian rehabilitation, the company engages in corporate social responsibility, spending around P81.46 million for its community and environmental stewardship project in Semirara Island in the first half of the year.
Semirara Mining is the only power producer in the country that mines its own fuel source, allowing it to generate affordable power in Luzon.