Mining News

Health is Gold, Gold in Health

What are the top 10 minerals mined in the world?

They are quartz (used for glass, paints, refractory materials), bauxite (the second most used metal globally after steel), cobalt (used in aircraft gas turbine engines, magnets), tin tantalum and tungsten (used in the manufacturing of computers, both laptops and desktops, and mobile phones), fluorspar/fluorite (used in the pottery, ceramics, optical, electroplating and plastics industries), platinum group metals ( includes platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium), silver (used for batteries, electrical and electronic devices and industrial applications) and gold which is used for jewelry, coins, measure of value, scientific and electronic instruments and for dentistry, medicine and health.

Gold is needed in the medical and dental field to keep us alive and healthy.

Look beyond jewelries, money and coin and you will see that we need gold to communicate. Gold is a highly efficient conductor that is able to carry tiny electrical charges. It is part of all electronic devices, including cell phones, televisions, GPS, desktop and laptop computers to transfer information quickly. In aerospace, gold is used to lubricate mechanical parts, conduct electricity and coat the insides of space vehicles to protect people inside from infrared radiation and heat.

But above else, the purpose of gold is to help sustain our health being. How? Gold is used as the best tooth filling. It is chemically inert and non-allergenic and is used as early as 700 B.C to replace broken or missing teeth. Ain’t life sweeter if you don’t suffer from toothache?

Gold is used as an aid in healthcare for the diagnosis of any ailments or radiation treatments. It also acts as a drug to treat a small number of medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis where they inject solutions of sodium aurothiomalate or aurothioglucose. Gold is also used to trace malaria. Gold nanoparticles drive a colour change on the strip if malaria is present. The tests are simple, reliable and robust; they can be used anywhere in the world without the need for expensive equipment or complex supply chains.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 319 million malaria RDTs were sold in 2013.

The properties of gold nanoparticles help in detecting diseases like HIV/AIDS (gold nanoparticle techniques are able to sense the presence of a target molecule at ultra-low concentration, improving early detection). Gold nanoparticles are being engineered to be attached to cancer –related proteins for easier detection. Gold is also used to make heart stents.

Scientists, health engineers are still discovering the many usage of gold as it possesses a good quality in treating and detecting diseases. That is why it is hard to live without gold. And we have to rely on mining to extract it for us. Just like in Masbate, where Filminera and Masbate Gold project use a strong year-round environmental management program to minimize the disturbances done to the environment. They plant trees, protect watersheds, plant mangroves and provide the community with various livelihood programs aside from education, infrastructure and healthcare.

Because health is gold and there’s gold in maintaining your health, it is imperative that we mine gold responsibly to sustain life on earth.

Masbate Gold Project: The Model Mine from Masbate

Sustainable development has been a buzzword ever since the UN coined the term as one of their global goals. This has also been one of the hot topics in the mining community ever since the crackdown for mining sites that violate the law of the land. It is now in every mining company’s best interest to ensure that they keep the local government and the community involved in its business.

These include: livelihood, Environment, Education and Infrastructure.

Working hand in hand with the government and the community to create sustainable development will turn you into a ‘responsible mining company’ which in my opinion is something that all companies should do since they are profiting from the land of the community.

Mining Responsibly is possible if the company is willing to work on it and take the time to really follow protocol and help the local community. One example of this mining site is the Masbate Gold Project in Aroroy, Masbate. The Masbate Gold Project is a joint venture between 2 Philippine Companies and A Canadian Mining company.

This mining site is a model mine that the DENR is looking to work with to provide and build a sustainable integrated area development  (SIAD) Plan to the Philippine Mining Community according to an article (link here) in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI).

Here are some of their programs:

According to the article of PDI, Filminera said the IAD plan was aligned with relevant DENR programs like the National Greening Program, Biodiversity Program, Biochar Program for Agricultural and other Wastes, Coastal Research and Management, Clean Water and Air Programs and Solid Waste Management Program.

If most mining companies have done these programs, most communities would be better served and more mining companies will stay open. So if you are in the mining industry please take note of these and implement them to ensure your long-term business.

How Sustainable Integrated Area Development Mining is key to Mining Firms in the Philippines

Mining is now a hot topic in the country today, given all the suspensions and various news articles coming out right now. This is especially valuable globally since the Philippines is the #1 producer of Nickel Ore worldwide.

One of the key things that most local mining companies miss is the ability to build long-term and safe development in the mining communities all over the country. This is why over 23 mining companies have been shutdown by our DENR Secretary Miss Gina Lopez.

I truly believe that irresponsible mining is something that can easily be avoided and it is mostly being practiced because of greed and lack of knowledge and skill set to create sustainable integrated Development Mining.The problem for most mining companies here locally is that they do not have a long-term sustainable plan for the community beside their mining sites and a sustainable plan includes the environment, community as well as the government.

This is extremely important since Mining sites usually last for 10-20 years max before they get all the minerals in the site, having said that there should be a plan in place to create a developed community after the mining site has been fully depleted.

This is where Integrated development mining comes into play. According to the United Nation’s World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) “Foster sustainable mining practices through the provision of financial, technical and capacity-building support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for the mining and processing of minerals, including small-scale mining, and, where possible and appropriate, improve value-added processing, upgrade scientific and technological information and reclaim and rehabilitate degraded sites”

This is one of the worldwide goals of UN and this is why our DENR Secretary has been trying hard to help and implement this plan.

In an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) (Link Here)Lopez defined SIAD as “an approach, strategy and guiding philosophy that weaves environmental considerations with social justice and human development” and as you can see if you follow this process you will be able to mine in the Philippines safely.

One of these mining companies that have good business practices is Filminera Resources Inc. which has been deferred from suspension by the DENR as stated in the same article from PDI because they have been found to have sustainable integrated area development plans in place. Having said that, this only show that if you are a responsible company with extremely good business practices, you will be able to mine in the Philippines safely.

I think the key is to work hand in hand with the government to show them that as mining companies you are willing to comply and also know where your practices should be improved. I personally believe that all mining companies should coordinate with the government extensively in order to have a smooth and easy mining operation in the country while helping their mining communities.