Semirara Mining and Power Corp. may resume its coal operations in Antique province as the Department of Energy (DOE) has restored its permit to operate.
Semirara on Monday said it received a September 17 DOE order, noting that the miner has substantially complied with the conditions set by the department concerning the improvement in the safety level at the mine site.
The DOE investigation committee found that Semirara has suspended the heads of the Mine Truck and Shovel Operation Department, Mine Planning and Engineering Department, Safety, Health and Environment Department, and Geology Department starting September 2015 until June 2016.
“SMPC is in the process of hiring a safety consultant,” the DOE noted.
Semirara has submitted an upgraded mining protocol with improvements on the
construction of buffer zones at the mine site, including a revised and upgraded health and safety program on Hazard Identification Risk Assessment and Control for mining personnel.
The hiring of additional engineers to man the robotic total station reflects an upgraded safety organization within the mining site.
“In view of the foregoing and in consideration of the over-all national interest, the DOE hereby approves the resumption of mining operations of Coal Operating Contract (COC) No. 5, subject to the oversight function and regular monitoring by the DOE-IC to ensure compliance with the abovementioned recommendations,” the DOE said.
Semirara also submitted a detailed mining plan incorporating the geotechnical study on the structural integrity of the mine.
Semirara was suspended from operating its coal mine in July after a landslide buries nine workers.
The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier lifted the suspension order on Semirara’s environmental compliance certificate for its East Panian Expansion Project.