The government will put up Mindanao’s first ever “eco-friendly” mineral and gold processing plant in Caraga region this year, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña disclosed.
Dela Peña said the construction of the facility will begin before the end of the year in Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte.
Once completed, the integrated gold-copper mineral processing plant will benefit small-scale miners and members of “Minahan ng Bayan” in Caraga and neighboring areas, Dela Peña said.
According to him, the processing plant will not use harmful and other deadly chemicals, like mercury or cyanide used by small-scale miners in gold-rush areas with bare hands and no protective masks in spite of the warnings of health authorities.
“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,” Dela Peña pointed out during his visit in Butuan City last week.
The technology that will be used, he said, will be an enhanced gravity concentration-flotation-extraction process which ensures that waste materials the plant will dispose are safe and non-pollutant.
“It will use clean technology developed by University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman researchers, and what’s more important is, walang (there will be no) mercury and cyanide, and the liquid effluent is clean, clear water,” the secretary said.
Compared to the technology used by large-scale mining, which has an average of 75 percent recovery rate, the integrated gold-copper mining plant will be more efficient with an 85-90 percent recovery rate for 32 hours, he added. By CLC