Top 10 Most Abundant Minerals Found in the Philippines

The Philippines is among the list of countries that possess massive mineral deposits and other natural resources.

Mining is also one of the country’s biggest export and one of the biggest local industries, but President Rodrigo Duterte’s new mining policy could possibly affect the mining industry sooner than later.

With more than 7,000 islands, mineral deposits in the Philippines vary by location and the type of mineral ores miners can dig.

The following is the Philippines’ top 10 minerals by volume of production and deposits.

1. Nickel

The Philippines is the world’s top nickel producer with more than 500,000 metric tons output in 2016. Come far in second is Russia with more than 250,000 metric tons.

2. Gold

Gold mining in the Philippines has been done both manually and through big mining companies. Between 1988 and 1994, a total of 27.7 million MT of gold ore, containing about 36 MT of metal was extracted. On average, this is equivalent to an annual extraction of 3.9 million MT of gold ore.

3. Copper

Copper is one of the most important minerals found in the Philippines but several factors affect on declining extraction of copper.
Other factors which contributed to the low extraction for the years concerned included power shortages, closure of the Marcopper Mining Corporation in the second half of 1991, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and the unusually heavy rainfall. During the seven-year period, a total of 346 million MT of ore was extracted, with a metal content of 1.3 million MT.

4. Iron

Iron ore, one of the Philippines’ largest mineral deposits, is not being extracted at present. This was due to the higher cost of production, making the local prices of iron not competitive to world prices. However, exploration for possible mining sites is still being done.

5. Lead

Lead is very abundant in the Philippines and is used in a variety of industrial applications. Lead is one of the cheapest minerals to come out from mines.

6. Chromite

The Zambales ophiolite is the major source of chromite ore in the Philippines. Chromite is used as a refractory material because it has high heat stability. The chromium extracted from chromite is used in chrome plating and alloying for the production of corrosion-resistant superalloys, nichrome, and stainless steel.

Precious stones and minerals

7. Manganese

Manganese is part of the iron group of elements, which are thought to be synthesized in large stars shortly before the supernova explosion. It is the most important mineral in producing steel and aluminum alloy. Manganese is an important element for human health, essential for development, metabolism, and the antioxidant system.

8. Platinum

Platinum is among the most expensive and valuable minerals. Platinum is used in catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment, and jewelry

9. Silver

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold,  while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal.

10. Aluminum

The Philippines has one of the biggest aluminum deposits but massive mining of this mineral is being done at the moment. Aluminum is remarkable for its low density and its ability to resist corrosion through the phenomenon of passivation. Aluminum and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and important in transportation and building industries, such as building facades and window frames. The oxides and sulfates are the most useful compounds of aluminum.

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