New Semirara coal field operational by year-end

Semirara Coal Field

MANILA, Philippines – Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corp. will start production at its new coal field in Semirara Island by year-end after securing an environmental clearance, its top official said.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the coal miner said it was granted an environment compliance certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) dated Feb. 12, 2016.

The ECC covers the total project area of 3,825.25 hectares within coal operating contract (COC) No. 5. This includes the Panian and Narra existing coal mines and the proposed Molave coal project at Brgy. Semirara, Caluya, Antique.

Work has started at the Molave expansion project, which includes the over burden removal of 80 million cubic meters before production, Semirara chairman Isidro Consunji said in a text message to The STAR.

“(We) expect production by year-end,” he said.

With the expansion plus existing open pit mine in the island, Semirara expects a total 12 million metric tons (MT) of coal production annually.

In a separate disclosure, Semirara said it also received yesterday a copy of the certificate of registration issued by the Board of Investments dated Feb. 24, 2016 for the Molave mine.

The certificate means the company has been duly registered as new producer of coal on a non-pioneer status under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 for its Molave mine.

“In the grant thereof, the corporation shall enjoy income tax holiday for four  years from January 2017 or actual start of commercial operations, whichever is earlier but in no case earlier than the date of registration,” the company said.

“Other incentives with no specific number of years of entitlement may be enjoyed for a maximum period of ten years from the start of commercial operation and/or date of registration,” it added.

The Molave mine is located at the west portion of the Panian Pit. Last year, an landslide occurred in Panian Pit, which took the lives of nine coal miners.

Aside from the Panian Pit, Semirara also has existing operations in the Narra Pit, which is located east of Panian Pit.