Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) has completed its backfilling operations in the Panian pit in Semirara Island, Antique, once the country’s largest open-pit mine.
SMPC said it was able to fill the 400-hectare area in six years, four years ahead of its ten-year mine rehabilitation plan. The company used over 452 million bank cubic meters (bcm) of earth material to fill the pit, which has the size of 217,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
“We are mindful of our twin role as stewards and government contractor. What we accomplished in Panian is proof of that,” SMPC President and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun said in a statement.
SMPC is now working on a development plan to reforest and restore the biodiversity in the area.
The Panian pit generated over Php12.7 billion in royalties in its 16-year mine life. Of the total amount, Php7.6 billion went to the national government, Php2.3 billion to the municipal government of Caluya – where the island is located, Php1.8 billion to Barangay Semirara, and Php1 billion to the Antique provincial government.
Meanwhile, SMPC parent firm DMCI Holdings said that its windfall earnings from its surge in commodities could result in “significant drawbacks” if foreign governments decide to tamp down on price increases.
In its 2021 annual report, DMCI has warned of possible policy intervention from China and Indonesia, and that they are anticipating significant volatility in the coal and nickel markets due to global supply disruptions and economic sanctions on Russia, which is deemed to be the third-largest and sixth largest producer of nickel and coal, respectively.
SMPC contributed an income of Php9.2 billion, or a 360% percent increase from the previous year, due to higher coal and electricity prices. Its income contributions also increased by 150% year-on-year to Php 1.2 billion amid the increase in nickel shipments and selling prices.