DOE nixes Semirara bid to reopen coal mine
MANILA, Philippines - Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla has turned down the request of the Semirara Mining Corporation to resume mining operations in its coal mine in Antique province.
Semirara halted operations at the open-pit mine after five miners died in a landslide there last month.
Petilla says the Department of Energy will still have to finish their investigation next week before deciding on whether or not to allow Semirara to resume mining operation.
Semirara president Victor Consunji sought an audience with Petilla pn Monday.
Petilla says they are likely to give Semirara the go-signal to undertake pre-mining development like surface stripping and readying the cut-off walls but not the mining permit itself.
Fiver workers died after the west wall of the Panian pit at the Semirara open-pit mine in Antique province on February 13. Operations have been halted since then.