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Worms prove successful soil engineers for mine rehabilitation

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Mine Rehabilitation & Closure / Mining & Resources

Worms prove successful soil engineers for mine rehabilitation

In this article:

  • At the mine site, nematodes are like “soil engineers” – the miners’ partners in the restoration of the virility of the soil
  • A study by Dr. Joey Genevieve T. Martinez, DSc was conducted for his academic research to prove that nematodes are ecological indicators of soil conditions
  • The study indicates 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.
  • See what score you get for your Rehabilitation and Closure program
  • Find out about Decipher’s Rehabilitation and Closure solution

 

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.

What are nematodes?

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.

“Despite huge economic contributions, mining is often linked to soil degradation and one of the biggest challenges for miners is to prove the success of our rehabilitation programs in bringing back life in the mined-out areas,” explains Manuel A. Torres, Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement manager at HMC.  HMC spends at least P80 Million pesos yearly for rehabilitation programs.

The study by Dr. Joey Genevieve T. Martinez, DSc., Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences (CSM) at the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) is to 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.

See what score you get for your Rehabilitation and Closure program

Current indicators of a successful mine rehabilitation are above ground such as vegetation.  The study evaluated the effects of mining practices using soil nematodes as bio-indicators.

Some of the results of the study that will be presented to the Conference in Paris, to be attended by nematologists and scientists from all over the world, 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.

 “In simpler terms this means that the condition of the soil in the rehabilitated are somewhat similar to the areas that have not been mined and this is a proud statement that says a lot about the efficiency of our rehabilitation program,” says Torres.

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

 

Engr. Francis Arañes, Jr., HMC Resident Mine Manager, says that the mining company is grateful to Dr. Martinez for choosing HMC to be the focus for his research.

“The study underscores HMC’s successful mine rehabilitation programs and brings the mining company’s name to an international stage within the scientific community ” Arañes beams.

The Philippines is a country well-endowed with mineral resources and 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 A. 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.

 “As a forester, I see this as HMC’s legacy. The nematodes, our friendly army of soil engineers, will lead the way in soil rehab so the people in the mining community will enjoy the virility of the mined-out lands for AgroForest and Farming, for many, many years,” exclaims Gascon.

How to drive progressive rehabilitation and closure

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Originally published by Manila Times.


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