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Semirara to hike output 10% this year

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), the country’s largest coal producer, expects to increase production by 10 percent this year following the on-track expansion in its mine site in Antique.

DMCI chairman and SMPC chief executive officer Isidro Consunji said coal production may reach 13 million metric tons (MT) this year after the expansion of its coal mine at the Molave pit.

“Last year, we produce 11.8 million MT. This year, target is a little bit more than 13 million MT,” Consunji told reporters in a chance interview.

Apart from the company’s expansion, the growth target also assumes favorable weather conditions for maximized operating days.

“As long as it doesn’t rain that much since we have La Niña now,” Consunji said.

Furthermore, he clarified the supposed suspension of its environmental compliance certificate (ECC) following orders from Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.

“No more issue. They inspected and there was no violation. There was field investigation, if it appeared that there are deficiencies, they will give you time to fix it. With us, they did not find any violation,” Consunji said.

Last August, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued Semirara a show cause order to explain why violations were committed in its Molave coal mine expansion project based on complaints of the local communities.

The complaints, which were investigated by the agency’s fact finding team last May, included “no proper stockpiling and disposal of the materials scooped out from the settling ponds, and other solid wastes impermanent, stabilized areas to avoid pollution of any water body and drainage systems, and maintaining them in safe and non-polluting conditions.”

ISIDRO CONSUNJI
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