Gold museum to rise in ComVal

Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy described as an “iconic landmark” the proposed P175-million gold museum submitted to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for funding.

Governor Uy was speaking at the groundbreaking of the project inside Capitol grounds in Brgy. Cabidianan, Nabunturan on March 8 at the culmination day of the 19th founding anniversary and 10th Bulawan Festival celebration of Compostela Valley. Present at the groundbreaking were heads and representatives from local and national agencies and employees. DOT was represented by DOT Regional Director Roberto Alabado.

DOT Secretary Wanda Teo approved in principle the construction of the gold museum in a meeting with Governor Uy and TIEZA officers at Waterfront Hotel in Davao City last year.

If approved and funded, the governor said the project would open jobs, additional tourism, inward investment, and economic regeneration opportunities. It would operate, he said as part of the economy that would greatly and positively impact the tourism industry and retail trade.

The proposed gold museum would be thematic. Its major features would highlight an interactive dramatization in diorama of the mineral’s formation, how it shaped the socio-cultural and economic character of the province and its people, the metal’s history from its discovery in the 1980s to its extraction and processing, and a presentation of the province’s green mining initiative at the end of a tour. Beneath the building, a tunnel would be constructed to depict the total mining experience. Tours would be electronically monitored and recorded.

The main building, domed at the centre, would cover a floor area of more than 3,281.93 square metres on the south-east side of the Capitol grounds just across the Nabunturan-Maragusan national road. The building will house the main entrance, a circulation/ reception desk, baggage counter, indoor water feature and garden, lobby, audio visual room and storage, an orientation area, office, conference room, souvenir shop, storage room, jewelry shops, hallway, food court, commercial spaces, exhibit areas, a corridor, and comfort rooms. Waste segregation would be strictly followed. All facilities will be gender-senior citizen-children- and persons with disability-friendly.

The project will employ two innovations: the use of solar power for electrical energy purposes and green-based building design.

The site to be developed is part of the provincial Capitol grounds. In itself, the Capitol is a tourism, cultural, and heritage site. It lies along the Nabunturan-Maragusan national road in Brgy. Cabidianan, four (4) kilometres from the poblacion of the provincial capital of Nabunturan. The gold museum will enhance the site as a centre of the province’s mining heritage.

The Province of Compostela Valley holds one of the biggest gold deposits in the Philippines with an estimated gold reserve of 181,745,339 metric tons, according to data from the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Gold mining sites are found in almost all of the province’s 11 municipalities. The major mining sites are in Mt. Diwalwal (Mt. Diwata) of Monkayo, the Masara district in Maco, the Boringot-Diyat-Kingking district of Pantukan, the Bukal-Mainit site of Nabunturan, and Bango of Compostela. About 20,000 to 30,000 people directly earn their living from mining. The number does not include thousands of jobs generated from the mining’s sub-industries

Overall, based on the 1999 industry profile of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region XI to which Compostela Valley belongs, Davao region is one of the top producers of gold in the country with an annual production estimated at 25,000 kilograms of gold and 140.525 metric tons of gold ore and 10,700 kg of silver.

In 2007, Compostela Valley overtook Davao City as the top contributor of minerals to the mining economy of Davao Region with P184.9 million or 50% share. From 2008-2015, the provincial government generated revenue collection for mining, sand and gravel and other quarry resources in terms of extraction fees and other related charges worth P98,495,748.55.

The biggest gold ring in the Philippines, the Solidarity Ring, is found only in the province of Compostela Valley. An 18-karat two-toned ring with an interior diameter of 5 inches and exterior diameter of 6 inches, it is made up of 1.18 kilograms of gold of shining finish and 308 grams of 99.9 percent pure silver of diamond finish. The Ring, weighing 1.488 kilograms is valued at P1.5 million. It is on exhibit Mondays-Fridays to the public inside a glass case mounted on the lobby of the Provincial Capitol in Brgy. Cabidianan, four kilometers from Nabunturan, the Capital of Compostela Valley. (PIO/ComVal)