Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) was recognized at the ASEAN Energy Awards for the accelerated rehabilitation of its South Panian coal mine.

To be specific, SMPC was declared as the winner in the award’s Special Submission category for the company’s accelerated rehabilitation of its South Panian pit in Semirara Island, Antique.

The category is reserved for projects that involve innovative, creative, best practices and excellent cases in the field of coal development and utilization.

Entries are required to show the contribution of the project to energy transition and energy resilience, as well as low carbon sustainable development.

South Panian mine before and after the final rehabilitation program of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation

“We share this recognition with the Department of Energy, the driving force behind this unprecedented feat. They wanted South Panian to be the model of sustainable and responsible mining in the country, and we did what we could to make this happen,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun.

The fastest of its kind and scale in the Philippines, SMPC’s South Panian mine rehabilitation involved the accelerated backfilling and reforestation of the 168-hectare open pit.

Panian pit was closed in September 2016 following the depletion of its mineable coal reserves. In less than two years, SMPC completed what should have been a five to 10- year rehabilitation plan for South Panian.

From an elevation of 260 meters below sea level—equivalent to a 78-story building, the mined-out area is now 5 to 11 meters above sea level with rolling terrain and over 350,000 seedlings of endemic and native trees.

This is the third ASEAN Award for SMPC. In 2015, it was a runner up in the Corporate Social Responsibility category for its reef rehabilitation efforts in Semirara Island. The project involves the spawning and reseeding of endangered giant clams through the Semirara Marine Hatchery Laboratory.

Source: Manila Bulletin (