By MYRNA M. VELASCO
The Department of Energy (DOE) has finally lifted the suspension order on the Consunji-owned Semirara Mining and Power Corp. allowing the resumption of the company’s coal mining operation, which was suspended only in November this year.
The company said it received the order lifting the suspension verdict last December 26. The DOE decision also gave the company the go-signal to recommence operations.
The energy department, nevertheless, qualified that SMPC cannot do mining operations yet “in the area adjacent of the former Casay Lake until such time that all liquefiable materials in the area have been removed.”
In lifting the suspension order, the DOE stipulated that the Consunji firm “substantially complied with all the conditions of its directive,” as specified in the DOE’s order on November 14, 2019.
The block covering the suspended mining operations had been under SMPC’s coal operating contract number 5. At that time, the DOE ordered the company’s stoppage of operations due to “mudflow incident” at the Semirara Island last October.
Following the issuance of the suspension order, several conditions had been imposed by the energy department – and compliance to such shall serve as its basis on allowing the company’s resumption of operations. Primarily, SMPC was required to “address the existing and continuing apparent risk in the Casay Lake area near and adjacent to the operations of the Molave pit.”
The Consunji firm had been further instructed to conduct “geo-hazard assessment of the Casay Lake area,” and was similarly required to carry out “specific plan to remove the hazard.” Such, it was noted, shall be subject to the evaluation and approval of the DOE.
SMPC had been further ordered to “conduct a comprehensive review of health and safety program which must include: Management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification and assessment, hazard prevention and control, education and training, program evaluation, and improvement and coordination and communication.”