SMALL scale miners in Itogon are seen to benefit from the newly built Integrated Gold-Copper Mineral Processing Pilot Plant in sitio Basil, Barangay Gumatdang.
The first Integrated Gold Copper Mineral Processing Pilot Plant, the project was a brainchild of the University of the Philippines and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with a P25 million fund.
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said they hope the operations of the clean integrated gold extraction for mining in small communities will be sustained in Benguet.
"We hope this will help and give better opportunities for the community," dela Peña said.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan added the project will help 80 percent small scale miners in the municipality.
Engineer Lomino Kaniteng of the Benguet Federation of Small Scale Miners Inc. said the facility is an improvement of indigenous way of mining and hopes an additional facility will be established in the town to further service other small scale miners.
Professor Oscar Ferrer of UP Diliman said aside from health and environmental benefits, this integrated mineral plant also saves more time, energy, and operating costs.
Compared to the technology used by large scale mining which has an average of 75 percent recovery rate, the integrated gold-copper mining plant has 85-90 percent recovery rate for 32 hours.
The integrated non-mercury and non-cyanide mineral processing pilot plant is the first mining technology in the world which does not use harmful chemicals.
Ferrer said the project took two years to complete the project adding the group of engineers who were part of the project turned down offers from big-time Chinese businessmen who want the rights to the technology. (With a report from Mitch Garganta/UP Intern)