Coal mining in Semirara may resume this year – DOE
(The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Semirara Mining and Power Corp. needs to hire more technical staff and submit a workplan to be able to re-open the Panian Mine in Semirara Island in Antique following a deadly accident that took the lives of nine miners, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

However, resumption of Semirara mining operations is possible within the year, DOE OIC-Secretary Zenaida Monsada said in a briefing yesterday.

The investigation committee handling the Semirara case has completed its report and informed the mining firm of its findings and safety recommendations.

Among the recommendations was to hire additional personnel and submit an annual work plan for the mine.

“They should have more technical people, not just consultants... If they are ready to comply, they can operate again,” Monsada said.

Monsada said lifting the suspension within the year is possible “if we find sufficient compliance.”

Heavy rains caused a landslide at the northern edge of the Panian mine last July 17, killing nine coal miners.

Panian is one of the open-pit mines in the 55-square kilometer area in Semirara Island, apart from the Unong mine which ceased operations in 2000.

Immediately after the incident, the DOE suspended Semirara’s mining operations and ordered the company to stop coal export shipments to prioritize domestic coal requirements.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) also suspended Semirara’s environmental compliance but restored it later after investigation showed the landslide had no adverse effect or damage to the environment.

The incident was the second time a fatal landslide happened in the Semirara mine, the first in 2013 when land collapsed in Caluya town and trapped 13 miners.

ACIRC CALUYA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES-ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU MONSADA PANIAN PANIAN MINE SECRETARY ZENAIDA MONSADA SEMIRARA SEMIRARA ISLAND SEMIRARA MINING AND POWER CORP
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