MANILA— Taiwanese firm Xin Ye Industry, Ltd. is offering mining companies operating in the Philippines with a “green” technology as it is set to build a second of its about PHP20 million ore stripping facility in the country.
A subsidiary of Taiwan Xinye Precious Metal Technology Co., Ltd., the firm has locally patented a cyanide-free gold stripping method called GP-860, which is expected to see its first commercial run next year after the completion of its facility in Valenzuela.
Xin Ye Executive Vice President Steven Liao said initial tests in various laboratories showed that the process yielded an average extraction rate at over 98 percent of the gold in the ore.
“This entire ore to gold process takes a maximum of eight hours. It is also environmentally friendly, non-toxic, harmless, has high efficiency, and high productivity,” Liad said in a press conference over the weekend, stressing that the technology does not make use of cyanide or mercury, among other toxic chemicals.
This compares with the two to nearly eight-day dissolution period in the traditional extraction process which usually involves the use of the banned chemical mercury, widely used by small-scale miners in the Philippines that produce about 70 percent of the country’s annual gold production.
Xin Ye expects to commercially operate with the GP-860 process upon the completion of its plant in Valenzuela next month.
But as early as now, the firm is discussing the outlook for a second facility, with its construction expected in full-swing next year.
“(We’ll) also put one in Baguio, with a small scale mining company. It’s a big cooperative,” Liao said, noting that the plant may cost “a little higher” with the addition of a machine that will not be installed in its Valenzuela facility.
He divulged that a large-scale gold company has contacted Xin Ye requesting more details on the GP-860 process but the executive declined to name the firm with talks still at an early stage.
Aside from gold stripping, the company has made new progress in nickel leaching.
“The company developed environmentally-friendly nickel-leaching technology that takes only two hours to extract nickel from laterite ores and the nickel recovery rate exceeds 80 percent,” Liao said, comparing the technology with the current process which takes about eight hours and results in a 40 percent recovery rate.
After a series of experiments, a large number of rare earth elements and radioactive elements were detected in the reacted laterite ores, according to Liao, all of which are important raw materials used in the high-tech, defense and energy industries.
At present, the Philippines has only two operational processing plants, namely the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants for nickel, in which Nickel Asia Corp., the country’s largest nickel supplier, has a 10 percent equity in each.
Liao said the firm is looking to collaborate with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), which has tested the firm’s technology, and key universities through production, learning and research cooperation in order to pave the way for Philippine mining to become one of the global leaders in the industry.