Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) has been cleared by the Department of Energy (DOE) of environmental-related issues.
SMPC said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on September 21 gave company chairman Isidro Consunji a copy of the report on the audit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“The DOE audit team verified that the mining operation of SMPC does not discharge toxic materials to the mangroves, the sulfur content of the coal if below 1 percent, there is no seaweed farm affected, and the dumping of overburden materials does not affect the nearby housing communities,” the report said.
The report follows DENR-Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) environmental audit report, which found SMPC in compliance with the required metrics needed to conserve the environment within the jurisdiction of Semirara Island.
EMB’s report said Semirara is fully in compliance with its commitment to the local community in Antique through its various education and livelihood initiatives, as well as economic empowerment and inland and mangrove reforestation.
This week, Semirara said the DENR audit found its Molave mine expansions project to be ‘technically sound,’ complying with all conditions of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC). (Read: Semirara mine expansion ‘technically sound’ – DENR audit)
However, DENR Secretary Gina Lopez refuted that her agency has not released any final decision on the audit yet and called Semirara’s claims premature. (Read: Lopez on Semirara mining audit disclosure: ‘Absolutely premature’)
In August, DENR gave SMPC a show cause order to explain alleged violations of its operations in its host communities in Antique. (Read: Lopez calls out Semirara on violations, warns ECC suspension)