The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) and the Western Philippines University (WPU) stepped up their partnership on mining technology and promotion of mineral development with the launching on Wednesday of a dedicated corner for mining information at the institution’s museum and holding of a seminar on responsible mining.
The “Rio Tuba Nickel” corner at the museum which was opened on March 6 displays informative reading materials about mining and a “garnierite,” a green nickel ore which is found in pockets and veins within weathered and serpentinized ultramafic rocks.
The garnierite is formed by lateritic weathering of ultramafic rocks and occurs in many nickel laterite deposits in the world.
RTNMC community relations manager Reynaldo dela Rosa said opening the mining information corner at the WPU museum is for research and public education purposes.
Dela Rosa said the RTNMC provided educational materials about the mineral resource of Palawan installed in one area of the museum.
These include the schematic cross section of RTNMC mineral deposit, which has a sample of rocks that are sources of nickel ore, cobalt, and iron.
Aside from the launching of the “Rio Tuba Nickel” corner at the WPU Puerto Princesa campus museum, a seminar on responsible mining was also held with topics on Palawan’s geology and its mineral deposits given by Wilbern Blitz P. Paeste, Community Relations (COMREL) mining technology and geosciences officer; mine enhancement, pollution control, reforestation and rehabilitation programs imparted by Janice M. Tupas, pollution control section manager of the Mine Environment Protection and Enhancement Department; and the history of RTNMC given by Dela Rosa.
“Nag-start ang partnership namin mula pa 2015. Sa ngayon pinag-uusapan namin ang collaboration namin sa research nila at aside dito ‘yong pag-promote ng mineral development initiatives. Marami silang research na very related doon sa ginagawa din namin sa program ng mining technology kaya opportunity na rin sa amin na magkaroon ng partner sa academe such as WPU,” he said.
He said the partnership between RTNMC and WPU started in 2015 and currently, they are planning to work together to research on mining technology and to promote mineral development.
“Kami kasi ng WPU hindi lang naka-focus doon sa awareness campaign but also to the research,” he added.
Dr. Allaine T. Baaco, research director of WPU, said what the RTNMC donated to the museum will give everybody the history of how rich Palawan is and will help educate the people and the students on the importance of Palawan in the mining industry.
“It will give us the history of what we have and how much wealth we have in Palawan. So it is an eye opener to the people and students as well,” Baaco said.
She also added that the partnership with RTNMC is an opportunity to educate people about the rich mineral resource of Palawan.
“What we envision here is for people to think a bit more. Whether we like it or not, mining is there. So with this, as much as possible if we can make people understand how it goes,” she added.