One of the problems that mining companies and mineral processing plants face is the rehabilitation of areas declared as mined out. As a result of longer dry seasons and less rainfall, there had been difficulties in successfully rehabilitating these disturbed areas.
Take for example Coral Bay Nickel Corporation’s (CNBC) Togpon 2 area which has 2500 endemic trees planted to a hectare of land. The company employs regular flooding method which costs approximately P542,485.80 for three (3) months. Due to the insufficient water supply during dry season, the company reported recurring and increasing mortality rates as high as 40% of the planted trees.
Engr. Noel Masangkay, Senior Science Research Specialist of MGB MIMAROPA, collaborated with CBNC for his re-entry project: “Utilization of the Drip Water System (DWS) in Mine Rehabilitation during Dry Season”.
Unlike their daily standard watering activity, the drip water system utilizes a main pipe that is connected to the water source. Distribution pipes with micro hoses are linked to the main line which directly distributes water to the trees. The total cost of adopting this method in the disturbed areas only costs P41,245.62, 92 per cent cheaper than what was previously adopted. Moreover, the DWS can be used during the dry season and is expected to last up to five years.
As a result, the application of the project this dry season on one of the rehabilitated areas of CBNC resulted to zero per cent mortality, which means none of the trees planted in the area dried up or died. Water consumption also dropped from 8 liters per tree down to 2.83 liters per tree. These findings, coupled with a generated savings of P501,240.18, make the project cost effective and constitutes to the success of it.
By: MGB MIMAROPA