How Shotton Mine Combined Mining and Art

How Shotton Mine Combined Mining and Art

In the coal-rich county of Northumberland, North East England, reclines one of the largest human sculptures in the world – Northumberlandia.

Northumberlandia is a park of grassy undulating hills and swirling walkways. It somehow resembles the Chocolate Hills and the Rice Terraces of the Philippines. When viewed from afar or from a vantage point, the park transforms into a colossal figure of a reclining woman who seems to enjoy the day as much as the tourists do. It really is a rare masterpiece to behold. It’s also a park worth visiting to contemplate the puniness of human existence or about the differences in people’s worldviews, if you want to go all philosophical about it.

Continue reading “How Shotton Mine Combined Mining and Art”


A Millenial Engineer’s Guide To The Role of Mining In Society

Mining as a process is arguably one of two key foundations of modern society — the other one being agriculture.The same way we get crops and meat from agriculture, we get raw materials needed to create a whole range of products that we use from mining. Even during the stone age, people have been collecting stones and sharpening them to make various tools and weapons. Today, our demand for stones, metals, and other mined materials is higher than before due to the technologies we use — cars, computers, appliances, cell phones, houses, you name it. Virtually everything we use today need raw materials from mining — either as their components or as components of the machines that are used to make them.

Beyond this, mining can contribute to social development and development of science and technology, while mitigating its environmental impacts. Many modern mining operations contribute to national economies, community development, and environmental enhancement. Satisfying the needs of communities, following local and national regulations, while implementing environmental programs to mitigate and even improve the environment are the hallmarks of what is called “responsible mining.” Science and technology benefits from mining as well. This is because the challenges encountered in mining operations encourage creative thinking in order to come up with innovative solutions. Mining also opens up opportunities for more detailed study of the Earth especially the crust. These solutions can spill over to other industries and aspects of our lives. Society depends on mining on plenty of things.

Read more at:

“We don’t need mining,” other misconceptions, and why they’re wrong.

Last March 2016, I flew to Puerto Princesa, Palawan as a guest speaker for an event promoting responsible mining, which was hosted by the University of the Philippines Mining Engineering Society (UP MINERS). I was asked to give a talk about the common misconceptions about mining to elementary, high school, and college students from various schools in Palawan (they probably numbered almost to a thousand, by my estimate! So, kudos to UP MINERS!).

Continue reading ““We don’t need mining,” other misconceptions, and why they’re wrong.”

On the Manicani Issue

Lately, facebook posts regarding the issue on Manicani Island, have been spreading throughout the news feed. Needless to say these posts have not discussed some important things as to why this is the current situation on the Island. What’s alarming is that these posts call on for action without even further discussing the matter at […]

Are Resource-Rich Countries Doomed By The Resource Curse?


I’m not an expert on economics, but I like reading about how the mineral industry affects a country’s economy. As I was reading about mineral economics, I came across the intriguing concept of the “resource curse.” I’m glad to share it with you.

The idea behind the “resource curse” is that countries that are well endowed with non-renewable resources, especially minerals and fuel, tend to have slower economic growth than countries with fewer resources. [1]

A 2011 research paper by economist Dr. Frederick van der Ploeg of Oxford University contains a comprehensive analysis on the resource curse concept. [2] Continue reading “Are Resource-Rich Countries Doomed By The Resource Curse?”

Correcting Misconceptions About Mining

Correcting Misconceptions About Mining

One time as I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I came across a picture of a group of people protesting against mining. The placards that they were holding read “Kalikasan at tao, o mapanirang pagmimina?” (“The environment and people, or destructive mining?”). The protesters believed that mining is anti-environment and anti-people.

However, contrary to what the anti-mining protesters believe, mining actually supports human society. And with the ever advancing mining technologies and environmental policies, mining becomes more and more environmentally-friendly.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about mining are far too common. Here are five common misconceptions and the reasons why they’re wrong. Continue reading “Correcting Misconceptions About Mining”