Semirara halts operations in Antique mine after accident

Posted at 02/14/2013 11:49 AM | Updated as of 02/15/2013 9:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Semirara Mining Corp. has stopped operations at its coal mine in Antique province after a mining accident killed three workers late Wednesday evening.

"[The company] has stopped operations to ensure the safety of all its personnel," George G. San Pedro, resident manager at Semirara, said in a statement.

"A section of the west wall of Panian pit gave way at around 11:55 pm, February 13, 2013... The management is in the process of determining the cause of the accident in coordination with relevant government authorities," San Pedro continued.

San Pedro said that as of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, three workers were confirmed dead. Three others, meanwhile, were rescued, and seven remain missing. 

Semirara corrected an earlier statement sent 11:30 a.m. where it said four were already confirmed dead, three rescued, and six were missing.

Search and rescue operations are currently ongoing at the mine site and Semirara assured it is "extending full support to the families of the affected personnel."

Shares of Semirara Mining Corp. plunged during Thursday's morning trade, after news broke out about the landslide incident.

Semirara fell to as low as P220 before paring its losses. The broader market, which hit a record high in early trade, was down 0.4 percent. 

As of 10:54 a.m. shares of Semirara lost P23.80 to P234 apiece from its Wednesday's close of P257.80. Shares of Semirara opened at P255 apiece.

Semirara's parent firm DMCI Holdings was hovering over a one-month low and was down more than 3 percent. Shares of the Consunjis' holding firm opened at P54.80 apiece on Thursday.

Volume of Semirara shares traded on Thursday surged to more than 1.1 million, nearly five times its average volume over the last 90 trading days. - With Reuters