SMALL SCALE miners in the Benguet may soon find a way of extracting gold without using mercury or cyanide.
Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso said this new method will significantly benefit the small scale miners in the province.
“The new process of mining without the use of hazardous or deadly chemicals will save the mining industry,” Pacalso stated.
This will also be an advantage to the small scale miners from the restrictions of the Mining Act since remedial measures are being implemented, he added.
Meanwhile, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Cordillera regional director Dr. Victor Mariano said the establishment of the field testing of the Integrated Gold Copper Mineral Processing Pilot Plant is already on-going in Itogon, Benguet.
All the needed equipment is already in Itogon, the process has begun. The researchers are now towards the later stages before its full operations,” he explained.
“This non-mercury non-cyanide gold extraction protocol is the processing of gold ores where we do not need to apply cyanide or mercury to extract gold which was researched by Filipino engineers and scientists of UP. DOST have a total funding of P26 million for this project, from equipment to staffing and we have to show them our support on the non-cyanide non mercury mining through these interventions,” Mariano cited.
Mariano also explained the efficiency of gold extraction at least 50 percent.
“Our traditional small scale miners can recover 50 to 70 percent gold content of the ore during the actual operations,” he added admitting the bigger mining companies have already modernized their equipment in treating their tailings thus having higher efficiency in gold recovery from ores.
The DOST official also hopes operation will start in the second semester of this year to benefit small scale miners.
“We are expecting the public and other constituents to see this project when it will be fully operational,” he said.
Mariano added DOST will turn over the operations, processing and management of the newly established facilities to the Benguet Federation of Small Miners Association later.