January 17, 2020 at 08:10 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. is preparing an expansion project that will increase the total mining complex in Semirara, Antique to 4,369.25 hectares from 3,369.25 hectares.
SMPC said in a filing with the Environment Department the entire project was within its 13,000-hectare amended coal operating contracted area. The bigger area will also tap a potential additional 34 million metric tons of estimated coal resource.
“The Semirara Molave Coal Expansion Project is envisioned to simultaneously operate the existing Molave and Narra (East Panian) pits while implementing the accelerated rehabilitation activities for the mined out Panian Pit. The proposed expansion area is in the Molave and Narra Pits located northwest and east of the Panian Pit respectively,” the company said.
It said recent developments in SMPC’s exploratory activities starting in 2018 resulted in the discovery of additional coal reserves at the Molave pit.
“With an additional 61 drill holes, open-pittable coal reserve was reestimated and showed a substantial increase from the initial estimate,” SMPC said.
SMPC in 2015, applied for an amendment to its environmental compliance certificate to expand operations by opening a new mine pit called the “Molave Pit” with an estimated resource of 38 million MT.
The annual coal production was proposed to be increased to 12 million MT from 8 million MT. The expansion project was named Semirara Molave Coal Project, which includes the simultaneous operation of the Panian, Narra (East Panian) and the new Molave pit.
An amended ECC was issued subsequently, allowing a larger total annual coal production of 16 million MT. It expanded the area of the Molave Pit at West Panian from 300 hectares to 400 hectares and the number of housing units the company is permitted to build from 700 to 1,100. It also increased the reservoir capacity to 10 million cubic meters from 8.98 million cubic meters.