Monday, March 28, 2005

Copper, Gold and Nickel... the Philippines

These three minerals which abound in our beloved motherland has the following uses. If only our government puts up industries that processes these minerals into usable things and not just export them abroad as raw materials.

Cu, 29 protons, 63.546 grams per mole, 1084.6 oC melting point, 2562 oC boiling point. These are some of the basic properties of the element named from the Latin word cuprum (from the islang Cyprus). [Source here:]. The same source lists down the following uses of copper: The electrical industry is one of the greatest users of copper. Iron's alloys -- brass and bronze -- are very important: all American coins are copper alloys and gun metals also contain copper... Copper has wide use as an agricultural poison and as an algaecide in water purification. Copper compounds, such as Fehling's solution, are widely used in analytical chemistry tests for sugar. Stored knowledge tells me that copper is the second most conductive among metals next to silver. I am thinking of electronics - the heart of high-tech.

Au, 79 protons, 196.9665 grams per mole, 1064.18 oC melting point, 2856 oC boiling point. These are some of the basic properties of the element whose atomic symbol is based from its Latin name aurum. [Source here:]. The same source lists down the following uses of copper: It is used in coinage and is a standard for monetary systems in many countries. It is also extensively used for jewelry, decoration, dental work, and for plating. It is used for coating certain space satellites, as it is a good reflector of infrared and is inert... The most common gold compounds are auric chloride and chlorauric acid, the latter being used in photography for toning the silver image. Gold has 18 isotopes; 198Au, with a half-life of 2.7 days, is used for treating cancer and other diseases. Disodium aurothiomalate is administered intramuscularly as a treatment for arthritis. A mixture of one part nitric acid with three of hydrochloric acid is called aqua regia (because it dissolved gold, the King of Metals). Paborito pang-prenda kung gipit na!

Ni, 28 protons, 58.70 grams per mole, 1455 oC melting point, 2913 oC boiling point. German Nickel for Satan and from kupfernickel for Old Nick's copper. Cronstedt discovered nickel in 1751 in kupfernickel (niccolite).. [Source here:]. It is extensively used for making stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys... Tubing made of copper-nickel alloy is extensively used in making desalination plants for converting sea water into fresh water... Nickel, used extensively to make coins and nickel steel for armor plates and burglar-proof vaults, and is also a component in Nichrome(R), Permalloy(R), and constantan... Nickel gives glass a greenish color. Nickel plating is often used to provide a protective coating for other metals, and finely divided nickel is a catalyst for hydrogenating vegetable oils. It is also used in ceramics, in the manufacture of Alnico magnets, and in the Edison(R) storage battery. I can only think of rechargeable NiCd batteries that are commonly used in heavy Nokia cellphones. (Lighter batteries uses Lithium instead of Nickel.) Warning: Exposure to nickel metal and soluble compounds (as Ni) should not exceed 0.05 mg/cm3 (8-hour time-weighted average per 40-hour work week). Nickel sulfide fume and dust is recognized as being potentially carcinogenic.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES | Monday, March 21, 2005

Gov't expects five major mining projects for 2005

The government expects five big mining projects worth an estimated $4.3 billion to begin this year and revive the minerals sector.

These are the Boyongan Copper Project in Surigao del Norte; a nickel project in Mindoro Oriental; the Far-Southeast Gold Project in Marokayan, Benguet; the Nonoc Nickel Project in Surigao del Norte; and the Pujada Nickel Project in Davao Oriental, documents from the Department of Trade and Industry showed.

Potential investments for the Boyongan, Mindoro, and Pujada projects are estimated at $1 billion each, while the Benguet and Nonoc projects may cost about $500 million and $800 million, respectively.

The government is offering 23 current mining projects to potential investors. Mining roadshows recently raised $8.3 billion in investment pledges.

An additional 37 new areas are also being offered for exploration, which can raise as much as $555 million in new investments.

The Supreme Court's decision last December to reverse the ban on foreign ownership of large-scale mining operations has revived interest in the mining sector.

Within 2005 to 2009, potential investments are projected to reach $6 billion, Trade documents showed.

Last year, mining and quarrying investments registered with the Board of Investments (BoI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reached P1.512 billion -- down by 62% from P3.964 billion in 2003, government figures showed.

The government expects total investment pledges this year to reach P230 billion, 9% more than 2004's P211 billion, as a result of "increased business confidence" in the government.

BoI and PEZA are now pursuing investment "leads" worth P160 billion, officials have said. -- F. F. Salvosa II

1 comment:

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