Friday, February 20, 2009

DMCI’s ‘CLEAN COAL’ a farce!

Upper right picture shows the typical shoreline of the Caluya group of islands (source:
panian-pitThe main source of livelihood of the people of Caluya, Antique are fishing and seaweeds production. In 1998, DMCI opened the second pit, Panian, in Brgy. Semirara (upper left picture) by open strip mining. Semirara coal are used mainly by power and cement plants. Because of the outcry on the environmental and health impacts of burning coal, DMCI adopted the marketing gimmick of ‘CLEAN COAL’ technology. Literally, DMCI started washing the coal of impurities in 2005.
However, the wastes from the coal-washing facility were dumped to the sea turning the white beach into black (picture below) killing the mangroves and seagrasses and driving away all marine life including the Dugong. This illustrates there is no ‘CLEAN COAL’ – but blatant ‘green washing’ gimmicks to fool the public.
The residents petitioned DENR Secretary Atienza in September 2008 to compell DMCI to rehabilitate the area, provide alternative livelihood to the fisherfolks and compensate the affected communities for damages.
DENR issued DMCI a ‘Notice of Violation’ and scheduled an MMT (multipartite monitoring team) field investigation on March 16-18, 2009 and a hearing on the EGF (environmental guarantee fund) on March 19. DMCI is now trying to cover the area by bulldozing topsoil and planting coconut trees.
Expose DMCI’s environmental crimes!
Justice to the people of Semirara!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Semirara Mining Corp. Plans To Export 2.5 Mln Coal Mine This Year

Mining Exploration News
Semirara Mining Corp., owned by the Consunji family, plans to export 2.5 million metric tons of coal this year, company officials said.

Cesar Villanueva, marketing manager, told reporters that Semirara would export coal to India and Thailand.
He said Semirara Mining aimed to raise production to 5 million MT this year, with half of the output to be sold in the local market and the other half to be shipped out.
An official earlier said the company was focusing its attention on India, China and Hong Kong for the coal exports. Semirara had exported some 800,000 MT to the three markets.
Semirara’s local customers, meanwhile, include Global Power, a member of the Metrobank Group of Companies, Mindanao coal plant owned by STEAG State Power, Aboitiz Group Asia-Pacific Energy Corp., majority-owned by Formosa Heavy Industries Corp. of Taiwan, cement plants and other companies.
The company supplied the requirements of the 600-megawatt Calaca plant in Batangas until the deterioration of the power facility.
Suez Energy of France, the company that won and later forfeited the auction for the Calaca plant, claimed that the use of coal from Semirara to fire the facility contributed to the severe deterioration of power facility.
Villanueva said Semirara had started exporting coal to India by batches of around 50,000 MT per shipment.
Villanueva said the company “bought new equipment” to increase its production volume target this year, which is about 50 percent higher than 3 million MT in 2008.
He said declining oil prices in the world market had cut down local coal prices by 30 percent.
The Energy Department earlier extended Semirara Mining’s coal operating contract in Antique by another 15 years to 2027.
Semirara Mining incorporated on Feb. 26, 1980 and offered its shares to the public in 1983. On July 11, 1977, the government, through the Energy Development Board, now the Energy Department, awarded a 35-year coal operating contract to a consortium that subsequently assigned the coal operating agreement to Semirara.
The coal operating contract, which was amended by an agreement dated June 8, 1983, gave the company the exclusive right to conduct exploration, development and coal mining operations on Semirara Island until 2012.
The mining company is one of the four major subsidiaries of DMCI Holdings, the investment vehicle that consolidated all construction business, construction component companies and related interests of the Consunji family.
The other major subsidiaries of DMCI are D.M. Consunji Inc., DMCI Project Developers Inc. and Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. of Manila Inc.