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The Philippine's mineral deposits and other natural resources will save the country from the impact of the world economic crisis.

Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose "Lito" Atienza said the riches must be utilized in a sustainable way.

"Our task is really managing our natural wealth because it will provide opportunities to each and every Filipino."

He said Palawan was blessed, and apart from its natural tourist spot wonders the province also has rich deposits of minerals.

Actual mining and exploratory operations are ongoing for nickel, mercury (the biggest deposit in South East Asia), chromite, manganese, barite, feldspar, silica, guano, limestone, and marble.

There are also new discoveries of copper, gold, iron, asbestos, talc, quartz, clay and sulphur.

In the northeast of the province offshore there is oil and gas.

The island province likewise has a large deposit of nickel ore totalling about 414 million tons.

The largest nickel ore deposit is found in Barangay Berong, Quezon in southern Palawan.

Geologists from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) estimate that nine million hectares in the country have high potential for copper, gold, nickel and chromite, which may amount to millions metric tons of mineral deposits which could fetch millions of dollars in the world market.

MGB data shows that the country contains an estimated 83 billion metric tons of mineral ore deposits.

These deposits include more than 14 billion metric tons of metallic ore and more than 69 billion metric tons of non-metallic ore that can be found more abundant in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Luzon and in the Mindanao region.