The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is launching a non-cyanide and non-mercury plant for gold and copper extraction in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley (Comval) by November this year.
Better Mine Project, a P50 million mine facility with the latest green technology and equipment in the mining industry, is a collective effort by the DOST along with state universities and colleges, LGUs, and mining institutions in the first-class municipality.
The University of the Philippines-Diliman, Compostela Valley (Comval) Provincial Government, Nabunturan Municipal Government, and LGUs of the three barangays under the Minahang Bayan of Nabunturan: Nabunturan Integrated Mining Development Cooperative and the Compostela Valley State College, are among the names behind the Better Mine Project.
“We’re promoting the technology as a responsible mining technology or a green technology, if you can call it that, as an alternative to the existing technologies being used by small-scale miners,” DOST-Davao Regional Director Anthony Sales said, stressing that the plant is void of using cyanide or mercury in ore extractions, which to this day is still being practiced by some miners.
“It does not use cyanide or mercury in the extraction. So it’s just physical processes. It will become a common service facility for small-scale miners who want to extract gold from their ores,” he said.
The Better Mine facility, as per DOST, is intended for small-scale miners to use eco-friendly technologies than destructive ones to aim for lesser negative impact to the environment and community.
Sales added that it is already at 95 percent completion and has a turnover schedule set in June 2018.
Prior to this, the Better Mine plant will undergo a three-month field test after its launch.
Among the mine areas Better Mine will be used is the Minahang Bayan, which is a legal and centralized mining zone for Nabunturan’s small-scale miners in three barangays.
“[Compostela Valley] Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy plans that they would be the one to operate and manage. It will serve as a showcase to all other areas in Comval. Hopefully, when everyone has accepted this, many plants similar to this will also be established,” Sales said.
The Better Mine Project was already in development as early as two years ago and was originally planned for pilot-testing in Benguet. Later, a pilot proposal of Comval was approved along with Bicol and Caraga.
Earlier, DOST said Better Mine’s ‘green tech’ innovation will offer job opportunities to over 300,000 small-scale miners in the area, who rely on copper and gold mining as their sole source of livelihood.