Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC) went on field for a four-day Educational/Observation Tour cum Capability Building at Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) Toledo City, Cebu on July 28-31. A total of 24 staff led by its Center Head, Dr. Bighani M. Manipula visited the company's mining sites.

CCC is one of the country's largest copper mine companies, making it a principal producer and exporter of copper concentrate in the country. Though new to its rehabilitation undertakings, the company continues to exert efforts in rehabilitating its mined-out areas as part of its commitment to bring back of what was lost during the course of mining operations.

The tour was part of the Center's initiative to strengthen the capability of its technical personnel in the implementation of RDE projects. It aims to enhance their knowledge on environmental protection management through rehabilitation strategies.

Mr. Christopher John W. Salcedo, CCC Environment Department Superintendent, welcomed the participants and discussed the CCC as mining company dedicated to rehabilitate its mined-out area. CCC Senior Corporate Relations Officer German L. Desuyo assisted the MDARRC's staff during the tour. They toured the Biga, Carmen and Lutopan Pits, concentrator plant and tailings disposal facility and mining sites to see the facilities, equipment, programs and rehabilitation strategies.

They also visited the DASVO II Multipurpose Cooperative's shoe factory where used tires of the company's hauling trucks are being utilized to make shoe soles. Mr. Neil L. Papas, Community Relations Superintendent, said that it is part of the company's compliance to the Section 5(co) of DENR's DAO 2010-21.

Rehabilitation efforts of CCC involve the community, wherein members of Pandong Bato Farmers Association are provided parcels of land to be used for agricultural purposes. This strategy involves the community in rehabilitating mined-out areas while at the same time generating income through selling of agricultural products during harvest.

CCC Forester, Roy C. Sabijon showed to the group the study site of Soil Amelioration and Bioremediation studies conducted by the former Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS) in Region 7 in collaboration with the CCC. He said that the company allocates P1 million every year for Research and Development efforts.

Dr. Manipula commended the effort of the CCC in managing the environment and the community through its social development and management program. He also thanked the company for accommodating the MDARRC's staff to observe their mining activities that would help them in the implementation of the center's RDE projects related to mined-out and degraded areas rehabilitation.

Mr. Neil L. Papas, CCC Community Relations Superintendent acknowledged that they also learned from the tour and added that CCC is looking forward to work with MDARRC in generating technologies for the rehabilitation of mined-out areas.Jethrone M. Setenta, Photos by Nikkie Jane F. Nitura and Vilma Flauta- Nitura