THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to conduct a public hearing for the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) application of Cebu-based mining firm Citadel Mining Corp. (CMC) for its mine site in Danao City.

“Scheduled for public hearing this January… It will discuss impact and mitigating measures of the mining activities,” DENR Environmental Management Bureau (DENR- EMB) Director William P. Cuñado said in a phone interview.

In a notice, the EMB said a public hearing on the environmental impact statement (EIS) of the proposed Danao Pozzolan Mining Project of CMC is set on Jan. 17. The EIS of the project is currently being reviewed by the bureau.

Pagkatapos doon sa public hearing, kung mai-submit na yung mga output nila, then mag-schedule ulit (After the public hearing, if the company submits the requirements, we will then schedule) a technical hearing,” Mr. Cuñado said.

The timeline will “depend on the project proponent’s compliance… we cannot dictate the compliance of the company,” he said.

The project is located at barangays Cabungahan, Manlayag, Sta. Rosa and Guinacot in Danao City. The site comprises 102.1 hectares out of the 336.3782 hectares covered by the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA), which was awarded to the company on April 10, 2000.

The mining method for the proposed projects is surface mining through quarrying, with a mine life of 10 years. Pozzolan, a major raw material used in the production of cement, can be mined in the area, which will be supplied to clients like Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc.

“CMC has not considered any alternative project site. For the mining method, given the nature of the deposit, the result of the initial feasibility conducted, drilling/geologic results and environmental considerations, the most suitable method of extraction is by open-cut quarry method,” the company said in its EIS.

The first year of implementation is the pre-construction stage which will involve technical design and finalization of quarry plans and construction of facilities, soil investigation, and securing of needed permits. In the second year, it has scheduled construction and site preparation, which will include site clearing, development of roads and drainage lines, and preparation of the loading pad and benches, among others.

Extraction of the mineral will also start by the second year, with activities to run for 10 years. At the end of the mine life, the company will rehabilitate the remaining mined-out areas and settling ponds, decommission of quarry ancillary facilities, implement social programs, and donate buildings to interested local government units. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang