DMCI surpasses rehab target for Berong mine

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Consunji-led DMCI Mining Corp. will exercise prudence in completing the rehabilitation of its Berong nickel mine in Palawan even as it has exceeded its annual mine rehabilitation targets in the first year.

The Berong mine rehabilitation will be conducted over a six-year period starting June 2022, covering 109 hectares of surface mine, 209 hectares of silt control structures and 25 hectares of stockpile area.

“We are fully committed to addressing our impacts on the environment and to our host communities. In our first year, we were able to exceed many of our rehabilitation targets,” DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said in a statement disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.

“The progress we have made in such a short time is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication,” he said.

In the disclosure, DMCI Mining said its subsidiary Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC) completed 88 percent of its annual land preparation target within just six months.

This means successfully rehabilitating over 30 hectares of the Berong mine out of the full-year target of 34 hectares.

BNC also accelerated its erosion control and soil stabilization efforts by installing 672 coconets – nearly six times its annual target of 116.

The company also laid down 1,721 meters of geo-textiles, significantly enhancing the ecological stability of the areas under rehabilitation.

Land preparation, a critical component of the mine rehabilitation process, includes slope benching and soil matting to avoid landslides, promote vegetation growth and create a more hospitable environment for returning wildlife.

BNC also topped its seedling production and transplantation targets for this year as it produced 214,052 seedlings, 152 percent higher than its 85,000 target.

Then it was able to plant 81,709 during the first semester, which is already 96 percent of its annual target of 85,000 seedlings.

Even as it exceeded targets, BNC will conduct the mine rehabilitation over the specified period to ensure the site will be restored “beyond compliance,” Reyes said in an interview with reporters.

“So, although it was advanced, our plan is not to really finish it faster but I think we’re really organized and prepared to deliver and communicate with the local government units (LGUs) that we feel this is the right way to go, if you guys agree with us,” he said.

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 (DENR), local government units (LGUs) and host communities.

“So, we really had a long discussion with what’s needed and that was really well, thorough-planned and we wanted to showcase something in the Philippines that is not just compliant, but something that goes beyond compliance because that’s for the community,” Reyes said.

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