Semirara spent P2.92 B for rehab of Panian pit
Semirara Mining and Power Corp., the coal and mining giant of the Consunji Group, spent P2.92 billion in 2018 to accelerate the rehabilitation of the southern portion of its Panian pit in Semirara Island.
Of the amount, Semirara spent P1.83 billion for the acquisition of dump trucks, excavators and other support equipment to ramp up the company’s stripping and hauling operations.
The rest of the amount or over P1 billion was spent on fuel, labor and other cash costs.
Panian pit was shut down in September 2016 following the depletion of its mineable coal reserves, as certified by the Department of Energy (DOE). Since then, Semirara has moved its operations to the Molave and Narra pits.
In December 2017, the DOE directed Semirara to expedite the backfilling of Panian pit (south portion) to serve as a model for open pit mine rehabilitation in the Philippines.
A year later, Semirara has unloaded 120 million bank cubic meters (BCM) of overburden materials into the southern portion of Panian pit, bringing the current elevation to zero meters, a dramatic improvement from its starting elevation of -260 meters.
260 meters is roughly the height of a 78-story building.
BCM pertains to the volume of earth lying naturally, which is neither loose or compact owing to mine-site activities such as excavation, among other things.
Once the pit has been completely filled-in, Semirara will put humic acid, compost and other materials to restore soil nutrients in the area, before proceeding with reforestation. Semirara will then plant tree species that are endemic in 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.
The company also implemented reforestation initiatives within the mining complex and planted more than one million trees as of June 2018.
Species include beach agoho, narra, and molave among other kinds of trees.
Meanwhile, surviving mangroves planted in parts of Semirara Island’s shorelines have reached more than 650,000 hills covering over 196 hectares – perhaps the biggest area completed by a single private entity in the country – as of June 2018.
Another project, the Semirara Marine Hatchery Laboratory has also produced over 144,000 giant clams. 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.