Five miners were killed, three were rescued and a further five were still missing after Semirara Corporation’s open pit mine in Antique was hit with a landslide late on February 13.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Wednesday, Semirara said it received the go ahead from the Department of Energy, on condition that the agency would regularly monitor the mining firm's work and safety measures during the preparatory activities.
“After the review/evaluation of the work program for the North Panian area and the additional safety and operational measures/program to be incorporated in the preparatory activities, we give you permission to proceed with the preparatory activities for the North Panian area,” Semirara quoted the DOE as saying.
This initial clearance does not allow Semirara to resume coal mining operations until the DOE inspect their preparation and safety measures.
The DOE said that sanctions may still be issued regarding the landslide incident and search and rescue operations for the missing men should still continue.
The day after the landslide resident manager of the Semirara Mining Corporation, George San Pedro, made the following statement:
“The management is in the process of determining the cause of the accident in coordination with relevant government authorities. Meanwhile, it has stopped operations to ensure the safety of all its personnel.”
Survivors say they felt a tremor before the west wall of the open-pit mine caved in on the 13 men working an overnight shift.