By James A.Loyola
Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) reported that rehabilitation of the southern part of its Panian pit continues to be on schedule.
The firm said it has filled South Panian with 62.7 million bank cubic meters (BCM) of overburden materials as of June this year, over 50 percent of the end-2018 target of 120 million BCM.
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.
“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,” said SMPC President and Chief Operating Officer Victor A. Consunji.
He added that, “we also dedicated 25 dump trucks and four excavators for the rehabilitation work at South Panian.”
The company embarked on the rehabilitation of the southern part of Panian as part of its five-year Work Program and Budget submitted to the Department of Energy.
After putting in the overburden materials, SMPC will put humic acid, compost, and other materials to restore nutrients in the soil and prepare it for reforestation. The company will plant tree species that are endemic in the area.
The rehabilitation forms part of SMPC’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 mining complex planted more than one million trees as of June 2018, with species including beach agoho, narra, and molave among other kinds of trees.
Meanwhile, surviving mangroves planted in parts of Semirara Island’s shorelines has 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.