P20-B Cebu town reclamation project gets PRA nod

by Philippine Resources - June 15, 2021

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Philippine Resources - October 29, 2021

Cebu airport dev't projects boost tourism economy: Tugade

Photo credit: Blazinfiremax Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday said improvements in Cebu’s premier airport will play a big role in boosting the tourism economy in the province. Tugade, who led the inauguration of the six-story Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s (MCIA) new corporate building, said the completion of such a project came in time with the approval of the request to increase the airport capacity amid the effort to recover the economy. He noted that Cebu is recognized as a tourism hub in Central Visayas. Tugade noted that Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Julius Neri requested to increase the airport’s capacity to 2,000 from the existing 1,000. “As you request to increase the capacity. You have to commit and assure me that there will be no congestion. Ibig sabihin ang mga passenger ay madaling makalabas ng (That means passengers can go out fast from the) airport,” the secretary said in his speech. The passengers coming from different places in the country or abroad should not be inconvenienced by spending so much time in queuing either for quarantine processing or taking of the swab specimen for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, he said. The DOTr chief also prodded Neri and other airport officials to make the second runway project by April or a month ahead of the revised target date of completion next year. The second runway worth PHP2 billion was originally contracted to finish in 730 days. However, Neri said during the succeeding press conference that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the contractor was confronted with the shortage of personnel as well as some hitches in the delivery of aggregates used in building the runway. The delay forced airport officials to revise its target completion date from February to May in 2022. Record showed that the second runway is at 53.11 percent complete. “As we put this office building, the airport terminal and the second runway, we are telling to the whole world: come to Cebu and make this as your place of business. Here, you can be conveniently attended to. As you do business, you can be a tourist. We are creating a platform of tourism booster,” Tugade said. Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated corporate building will house MCIAA employees in a single edifice that is complete with modern equipment and facilities and is featured with a command center. Neri said the new corporate building is standing in a 16,000 square meter lot inside the airport complex and is worth PHP744 million. The building is set to have elevated passageways that are connected to the terminal buildings for the convenience, safety, and protection of workers and staff. Community airports Tugade also highlighted the effort of the DOTr to develop existing community airports like the Bantayan Airport in the town of Santa Fe in Bantayan Island and the Medellin Airport in northern Cebu province. Tugade said the Bantayan Airport will officially be operational by April 2022 as President Rodrigo Duterte pledged PHP150-million funding for the completion of the airport's runway expansion project. “This project will allow others to experience the beauty of Bantayan Island and easier access to this beautiful destination,” the DOTr chief said in Tagalog. The project will also pave the way for more commercial aircraft to land on the island, known for its white sand beaches, to boost tourism and other economic opportunities in the northern part of the province. The project involves the widening of the existing narrow runway and the construction of taxiway and apron areas. The expansion effort will ensure compliance with established safety standards and will make the Bantayan Airport equipped for night-time flight operations and commercial aviation activities. The DOTr chief also said he will inspect the Island of Camotes in Cebu province’s western seaboard to check the viability in the opening of another airport in the area. By John Rey Saavedra and Carlo Lorenciana

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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022

Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production

Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country.   Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources


Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022

DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation

Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity.   The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island.    Article courtesy of the MGB


Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022

The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration

 upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.  

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