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News > Final rehab of SMPC’s Panian pit under way

Final rehab of SMPC’s Panian pit under way

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) said on Monday it began efforts to restore the ecological balance in its Panian open-mine pit in Semirara, Antique, which was shuttered after the depletion of its mineable coal reserves.


In a statement, the Consunji-led miner said it has started filling the Panian mine with overburden materials from Molave and Narra Mines, its two operating pits. 


“Our goal is to restore the topography of Panian and promote flora and fauna growth in the area,” SMPC President and Chief Operating Officer Victor A. Consunji was quoted as saying. 


The depletion of Panian pit’s coal reserves was certified by the Department of Energy (DoE) after a visit to Semirara island in September. 


After the Panian pit becomes a stable landform, the company said it will blanket the area with humic acid, compost and other materials to add nutrients to the soil. A massive reforestation program, which will include endemic and suitable plant species, will also be undertaken. 


“The in-pit of Panian Mine would no longer look like a depleted mine since the final elevation would be around -10 meters at the northern side and +30 meters at the central barricade and +10 meters at the southern side,” said Mr. Consunji.


A freshwater reservoir, as well as a possible eco-tourism spot are also planned in the area. 


“We are still consulting with DoE and host LGU as to the final land use plan. We want to turn over something that will continue to benefit the government and host community. Island sustainability is our main concern,” he said. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan 


Source: BusinessWorld Online