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Semirara Mining resumes operations in central Philippines

Published by
World Coal,

The Department of Energy has permitted Semirara Mining and Power Corp, a unit of DMCI Holdings Inc, to resume mining operations. The Philippines' biggest coal producer idled coal exports following a two-month suspension due to a fatal incident at Semirara's Panian opencast mine in central Philippines.

In a 17 September letter to Semirara President Victor Consunji, a copy of which accompanied the firm's disclosure to Manila's stock exchange, the Department of Energy OIC-Secretary, Zenaida Monsada, said the company has "substantially complied with the conditions ... resulting in a marked improvement in the level of safety in its mining operations."

The compliances are reported to have resulted in safety improvements at the mining operations. The DoE Investigation Committee (DoE-IC) in-charge of the incident will continue to monitor the company’s operations.

According to DoE-IC findings cited in the letter, Semirara suspended the heads of the company’s Mine Truck and Shovel Operation Department; Mine Planning and Engineering Department; Safety, Health and Environment Department and Geology Department for three months. Thus will be carried out on rotation from September 2015 to June 2016 due to lean manpower.

A safety consultant will be appointed and the company will submit an upgraded mining protocol that details improvements planned for its mine site. The company also submitted an improved health and safety programme for its miners and upgraded its safety organisation through the hiring of additional engineers and installation of slope stability radar, as well as a detailed mining plan that includes a geotechnical study and improved its alert and evacuation procedures, Business World reported. According to the DoE, the company also employed technical personnel, such as geotechnical engineers, hydrogeologist and mine planning engineer.

Edited from various sources: Semirara, Business World by Harleigh Hobbs

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