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DOST introduces green mining technology to help small-scale miners in the Philippines

Adrian M. Reodique | March 31, 2016
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has come up with a pro-environment method for extracting gold and copper.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has come up with a pro-environment method for extracting gold and copper in the Philippines.

The method-- which was undertaken by DOST and the University of the Philippines Diliman-Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (UPDMMME)-- uses "enhanced gravity concentration-flotation extraction" which assures that waste materials disposed in the environment are safe and non-pollutant.

The new method also allows for an 85 percent to 90 percent recovery rate of gold and other valuable mineral like copper and zinc, compared to the traditional method with only 40 percent.

"This innovation will bring more benefits for our more than 300,000 small-scale miners all over the country because it poses no threat to their safety, and to the environment as well, because it does not use harmful chemicals like mercury and cyanide," said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

Last March, DOST along with government officials of Compostela Valley led the ceremony of the Field Testing of the Integrated Gold-Copper Mineral Processing Pilot Plant in Barangay Katipunan, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.

This technology is expected to bring more benefits to the thousand local small-scale miners who solely depend on copper and gold mining as source of livelihood.

"We consider this as a milestone for the small-scale miners of Nabunturan, Compostela Valley because this new technology for sustainable mining will surely benefit them in terms of increased income and protection of their natural resources; thereby proving to all that science and technology can improve the quality of life of our people in the countryside," said Montejo.

The green mining technology was developed by scientists from UDPMMME after five years of research and field testing.

Meanwhile, similar testing plants have already been set up in Barangay Gumatdang, Itogon, Benguet; Paracale in Bicol Region and in Barangay Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte in the CARAGA Region where gold, copper and zinc are abundant.

 

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