The investigation of the Department of Energy (DOE) on the mining accident in Caluya, Antique province showed that continuous rainfall may have loosened the soil that caused the slope failure at the site.
In its initial findings, the DOE-Investigation Committee found that the landslide at Semirara’s North Panian coal mine was due to a slope failure or slop collapse characterized by the slumping of back fill materials with a height of 61 meters.
The DOE-IC also said the Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) complied with the standard conditions for the operation of the North Panian pit.
The preliminary report was submitted last Monday after its initial inspection on Saturday.
Department of Energy OIC-Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada led the Investigation Committee and inspected the site of the incident last Tuesday.
Monsada earlier said the probe will concentrate on finding whether the incident at the mining pit’s North wall was an accident or caused by neglect.
“We are here to further the investigation with the expanded DOE-IC which now includes more mining engineers,” said Monsada.
SMPC, the country’s biggest coal producer, has already suspended its export shipment after the DOE temporarily suspended its operations after the incident.
Earlier, given the potential impact on the power sector of any coal supply disruption, the DOE directed SMPC focus on securing coal supply for use of local power plants.
“We are coordinating with power plants to determine the inventory of existing power plants and cement plants serviced by COC 5. Data indicates that COC No. 5 supplies 1,593 MW of grid connected power [Luzon and Visayas],” said Monsada.