Depleted Berong Nickel‘s old mine to be rehabilitated

DMCI Holdings' Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC) in Quezon, Palawan is now facing depletion after 15 years of mining operation and will undergo rehabilitation, according to the company.

BNC said in a statement that it will spend around P110 million to decommission the Palawan mining site and that it will soon start its final mine rehabilitation.

BNC also said the budget will largely be used to stabilize the mined-out area in the site through benching, drainage construction, and planting of endemic and indigenous trees.

The Berong mine opened in October 2006 and is expected to be fully depleted by year-end, the company said.

Photo from Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC)

Aside from generating 1,634 direct and indirect jobs, the mining operations yielded 10.3 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore and P2.6 billion worth of mining duties, royalties, and taxes.

To be conducted over a six-year period, the Berong final rehabilitation program covers 109 hectares of surface mine, 209 hectares of silt control structures, and 25 hectares of stockpile area. The program is expected to generate 135 jobs.

“Our end goal is to restore and enhance the mined land so its economic and ecological value is similar to, if not better than when we started operations in the area,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes.

After rehabilitation, the disturbed areas could be used for eco-tourism, agro-forestry, and inland fish farming by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local government units), and host communities.

Around 14 hectares of mine access road will also be rehabilitated and turned over to the community for their use.

Community investments through the BNC Social Development and Management Program also reached around P185 million. These investments include infrastructure, livelihood assistance, scholarships, among others.