September 04, 2018 at 07:40 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. said Tuesday the rehabilitation of the southern part of Panian pit in Antique remains on track.
“The company is on track in terms of the progress of the southern part of Panian pit’s rehabilitation. Given our pace, we expect to finish filling up South Panian in June next year, and then we can proceed with preparing the soil for plants and trees,” Semirara president and chief operating officer Victor Consunji said in a statement.
Semirara owns the country’s largest coal mining operations located in Semirara Island, Antique.
Semirara filled South Panian with 62.7 million bank cubic meters of overburden materials as of June, representing more than 50 percent of the end-2018 target of 120 million BCM.
BCM pertains to the volume of earth lying naturally, which is neither loose nor compact owing to mine-site activities such as excavation.
“We also dedicated 25 dump trucks and four excavators for the rehabilitation work at South Panian,” Consunji said.
The company embarked on the rehabilitation of the southern part of Panian as a part of its five-year work program and budget submitted to the Energy Department.
Semirara will put humic acid, compost, and other materials to restore nutrients in the soil and prepare it for reforestation after putting in the overburden materials. The company said it would plant tree species that are endemic to the area.
The rehabilitation forms part of Semirara’s goal of bringing back the original landscape of Panian, which had open grasslands and a variety of trees and shrubs.
Reforestation initiatives within the coal mining complex planted more than one million trees as of June, with species including beach agoho, narra, and molave among other kinds of trees.
Surviving mangroves planted in parts of Semirara Island’s shorelines reached more than 650,000 hills covering over 196 hectares as of June.
One of the company’s novel environmental projects, Semirara Marine Hatchery Laboratory, has produced more than 144,000 giant clams as of June.
Giant clams are very sensitive to water quality, and as such, it cannot thrive in polluted areas.
Semirara is the only vertically-integrated power producer in the country that mines its own fuel source, allowing it to generate affordable baseload power.