10th EBA Open Seminar Report: Mining and the Environment

The 10th EBA Consortium Open Seminar, hosted by University of the Philippines Diliman on June 11th 2014, provides a series of lectures on the topic of Mining and the Environment. EBA Consortium would like to express thanks to the host- University of the Philippines Diliman and to the participants including:

  • Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
  • University of the Philippines (UP)
  • Keio University (KEIO) – from 2 locations:
    • Hiyoshi Campus
    • Yagami Campus
    • SFC Campus

The Philippines is considered to be one of the most mineralized countries in the world in terms of minerals per unit area of land and its mining industry has been one of the main contributors in the economy of the country and it is growing year by year. However, the downside risk of the mining activities is that various processes in the extraction of minerals such as amalgamation, cyanidation and combined amalgamation-cyanidation process utilizes chemicals like mercury and cyanide that has been proven detrimental to human health and the environment.

The three lectures, in attempts to address the issue, provide insightful perspective on the risks and to propose different approaches to assess and mitigate the risks.

[Session 1]  Heavy Metal Contamination Assessment and Modeling of Fate and Transport of Mercury in Bued River

Presented by Christian Orozco

The lecture proposed an approach to assess heavy metal contamination and to perform fate and transport modeling of mercury in Bued. The fate and transport of heavy metal from mining industries contaminating the surface waters (such as ponds, rivers and streams) is important to understand in order to determine the possible risk to health of humans who may be exposed to heavy metal in contaminated surface waters and to know the expected concentration of heavy metal at any location along any reach of the surface water for the current situation and when there is a possible significant discharge from the source.

[Session 2]  Human Health Exposure and Risk Assessment of Environmental Mercury Contamination in Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet

Presented by Brida Lea  Diola, M.A

Study Area: Camp 6, Tuba Benguet

Study Area: Camp 6, Tuba Benguet

The lecture proposes a risk assessment model to quantify the potential exposure and health risk of Mercury (Hg) for different exposure pathways of the residents in Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet (the Philippines).

 [Session 3] The value of Cocopeat: Removal of Heavy Metals

Presented by Augustus Resurreccion, Ph.D.



The lecture proposes a sustainable technology for small-scale miners based on his own project “Development and Testing of Coco-Peat as a Sorbent Material in a Filter Bed”. The lecture demonstrates the use of coco-peat (made from coconut husks) as sorbent material to remove heavy metals through an on-site filtration process. The approach has its potentials not only because of its efficiency but also its sustainability and low-cost features.