Nickel Laterite - Dinagat
The province of Dinagat Islands are well know for world-class Nickel Laterite and Chromite deposits. CCILMMRC is in Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the Minahang Bayan Members.
From Surigao City to San Jose Municipality, Dinagat Island is being serviced by motorized Banca’s and inter-island ship (RO-RO) in more or less two hours during fair weather conditions in the area. San Jose to highway junction at Brgy Gen. Aguinaldo, a distance of 44 kilometers can be reached in hour drive by all types of vehicles.
The Minahang Bayan area is chiefly underlain by ultramafic rocks composed of intensely serpentinized hurzburgite and dunite which are part of the Dinagat Ophiolite complex dated as Late Cretaceous Age (84 million years old). The hurzburgite the most widespread in the area interlayered with the dunite can be easily recognized due to very rough surface when deeply weathered wherein the pyroxene stand-out in relief. This rock is coarse grained, massive, with variable color when altered and contained dominantly of pyroxene mineral with minor amount of olivine. The dunite body is likewise massive, very fine grained and dark in color when fresh but turns to chocolate brown when weathered.
It consists of more than 90 % olivine mineral with subordinate amount of pyroxene. The pyroxene exhibits a shiny appearance when exposed to sunlight. Both of these rocks contain minor amount of chromite and magnetite crystals. They are commonly transected by chrysotile veinlets filling the constricted fractures. The chrysotile is fibrous, grayish green but become dark when altered. Due to re-current tectonic activities in the area, the rocks are severely shattered to fractured producing serpentine minerals.
The conservative estimated resource of the nickel laterite within the minahang bayan license area is about 47.3 million tonnes with a n average depth of 7.0 meters only. Manual auger drilling conducted by the members of the minahang bayan and small scale miners along the southeast section of the area indicated a depth down to 8-9 meters only and still open ended.
The crest and slopes of the ridges are mantled with residual nickeliferous lateritic soil derived from extensive weathering of serpentinized harzburgite and dunite. Associated with these laterite deposits are minor amount of disseminated chromite and magnetite grains. Concentration of black sand along the channels of the drainage systems dissecting the area believed to be the result of weathering process of the underlying rocks
Tenement map from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showing the location of Minahang Bayan Area in Barangay Gen. Aguinaldo, Libjo, Dinagat Island.
Map showing the Minahang Bayan area (red line) with the approximate location of Nickel Laterite Zones (yellow areas) in Libjo, Dinagat Island.
Photographs showing the thick nickel laterite deposit within the minahang bayan and photos of the auger samples collected during the exploration stage.