ITOGON, Benguet, Mar. 10 (PIA) - - Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña today led the inauguration and official turn – over of the integrated gold – copper mineral processing plant at barangay Gumatdang, here.
The University of the Philippines – DOST Integrated Gold – Copper Mineral Processing Plant is the initial field – testing of the UP-developed technology that uses a non - cyanide and mercury gold extraction process which aside from being a healthier and environment – friendly process, can also increase the percentage of gold extraction from mineral ores.
Peña, with DOST – PCIEERD Director Dr. Carlos Primo David, DOST Cordillera Regional Director Victor Mariano, UP Diliman Chancellor representative Dr. Oscar Ferrer and Project Manager Herman Mendoza, along with the plant recipient Benguet Federation of Small Scale Miners headed by Engr. Lomino Kaniteng, Itogon Mayor Victor Palangdan and Benguet Provincial Administrator Noel Ngolob led the ribbon cutting and inauguration of the plant.
Peña, assisted by Mariano and Mendoza, also turned over the operations manual and ceremonial key to the BFSMMI represented by Kaniteng.
Peña, in his keynote message, affirmed the government’s support to small – scale mining and the mining industry which is why through the technology and the processing plant, they hope to provide better opportunities to the miners and at the same time promote a cleaner, healthier and high yielding gold extraction process.
He also assured that the government, through science and technology, will continue to support not only small scale miners but other livelihood undertaking in the province, through value adding of their product by infusing Science and technology.
The use of Science and Technology in bringing in socio – economic development and progress to all is part of the agenda of this administration… Using Science to work for the people, he stressed.
Kaniteng expressed the gratitude of the federation to UP and DOST, as well as all the partners and stakeholders for the project as it will benefit around 20,000 members.
He requested the DOST Secretary for another similar project to be put up in the northern part of Benguet, which Dela Peña gladly considered.
Palangdan and Ngolob also expressed their gratitude for the project, in behalf of the people of Itogon and the Benguet province respectively as they outlined its importance to the livelihood of the people as mining is one of the major industries in the province. By: Carlito C. Dar (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)