DMCI Holdings, Inc. said on Wednesday that it will be decommissioning its Berong nickel mine site in Quezon, Palawan after yielding 10.3 million wet metric tons of nickel ore in its 15 years of operations.
The Consunji-led firm added that Berong has generated Php2.6 billion in mining duties, royalties, and taxes, which it has remitted to the government.
For the decommissioning itself, DMCI — through subsidiary Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) — has allotted for the project, which includes the mine’s rehabilitation. Most of the budget will be used to stabilize the mined out area through benching, drainage construction and planting of endemic and indigenous trees.
The rehabilitation, said to be conducted within six years, covers 109 hectares of surface mine, 209 hectares of silt control structures and 25 hectares of stockpile area. The program is expected to generate 135 jobs.
“Our end goal is to restore and enhance the mined land so its economic and ecological value is similar to, if not better than, when we started operations in the area,” DMCI Mining President Tulsi Das Reyes said in a statement.
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, local government units, and host communities.
Around 14 hectares of mine access road will also be rehabilitated and turned over to the community for their use.
Berong opened in October 2006 and its resource are expected to be fully depleted by yearend.
Community investments through the BNC Social Development and Management Program also reached around P185 million. These investments include infrastructure, livelihood assistance, scholarships, among others.