Worms in Hinatuan Mining to prove success of mine rehabilitation

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    Rosemarie Macawile, a resident of HMC’s host barangay – Talavera – and a landscaping aide at the mine site, shows off the healthy soil at HMC’s rehabilitated area.

    Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC) has been invited to France for a poster presentation on a study on the presence of nematodes to prove the healthy condition of the soil in the rehabilitated area at the mine site.

    Nematodes are microscopic wormlike organisms abundant in the upper soil layers that are a major component of the soil’s ecosystem. At the mine site, nematodes are like “soil engineers” – the miners’ partners in the restoration of the virility of the soil.

    “(O)ne of the biggest challenges for miners is to prove the success of our rehabilitation programs in bringing back life in the mined-out areas,” said Manuel Torres, Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement manager at HMC. HMC spends at least P80 million  yearly for rehabilitation programs.

    The study by Dr. Joey Genevieve Martinez, DSc., associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences (CSM) at the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) will be presented at the International Congress on Nematology in Paris. He used the soil environment at HMC for his academic research to prove that nematodes are ecological indicators of soil condition.

    Current indicators of a successful mine rehabilitation are above ground such as vegetation.

    Some of the results of the study that will be presented to the conference in Paris indicate that the chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil found in the “undisturbed areas” at the mine site are similar to the soil found in the rehabilitated areas.

    Francis Arañes Jr., HMC resident mine manager, said the study underscores the company’s success in its mine rehabilitation programs.

    Mining companies such as HMC – subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) – are mandated by law to conduct rehab programs that will establish a sustainable agricultural life for the communities after the mine life.

    Earl John Gascon, HMC’s dedicated company forester is excited to see the growth of various plants and crops all over the mine’s rehabilitation area but even more proud to share with the communities around the mine site the news about the study on the nematodes.

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