Coal Asia unit Davao mine gets DENR approval

COAL Asia Holdings Inc. on Monday said unit Titan Mining and Energy Corp. (TMEC) has secured an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, paving the way for the start of commercial coal production.

The company said the ECC covers the 7,000-hectare coal mine concession in Manay, Davao Oriental.

"With this vital development, TMEC can now proceed with its commercial coal production. TMEC expects to make its initial shipment of coal in the third quarter of this year," the company said. TMEC was supposed to start the mine’s commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Davao Oriental mine site is believed to reserves of about 75 million metric tons of coal, which could support the rising coal demand in Mindanao, expected to start by next year.

The projected overall demand for coal in the Mindanao region is seen to reach 5 million metric tons annually by 2015 or 2016, largely due to existing and newly built coal-fired power stations as well as cement plants, the company said.

"The company with its operations in Davao Oriental is well-positioned to serve this growing industry with a portion of its demand. Add to this the coal requirements in the Visayas region, which stand at around 3 million metric tons annually, specifically in Cebu and Panay, Coal Asia said.

The company was established In June 2012, primarily to serve as the holding company of Titan Mining, which holds three coal operating contracts totaling 13,000 hectares.

Coal Asia earlier said coal mined from two sites are tested to have a heating value of around 10,100-BTU/lb (British thermal unit per pound). This has a much higher value compared with output from leading coal producer Semirara Mining Corp., which is said to have a coal heating value of around 8,600 BTU/lb.