Wednesday, April 22, 2015


by Anton Antonio
April 20, 2015

Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol “Pd” and atomic number 46.  In 1803, William Hyde Wollaston discovered this rare and lustrous silvery-white metal.  Wollaston named it after an asteroid called “Pallas”.  Palladium is a chemical element composed of platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium commonly referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs).  The PGM have very similar chemical properties but palladium, however, is the least dense and has the lowest melting point among the PGMs.

Palladium has a variety of applications.  Palladium plays a key role in the technology used for fuel cells which, combined with hydrogen and oxygen, produce electricity, heat and water.  It is also used in electronics, dentistry, medicine, hydrogen purification, jewelry and other chemical applications.  Most of the supply of palladium is used in catalyctic converters which converts up to 90% of harmful gases from automobile exhaust (such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide) into less-harmful substances (such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapour).

Following the discovery of the world’s biggest palladium reserve in the coastal areas of the Islands of Romblon, Mindoro, Panay and Negros in the Visayan group of islands in the Philippines, the country has the potential of being the richest country in Asia.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently concluded a 3-year study detailing the 8,450 square kilometer palladium deposit lying below the Visayan Sea, Sibuyan Sea and Tablas Strait; all within the Philippine archipelago.

At present, the biggest producers of palladium is Russia (44%), Africa (40%) and the rest come from the United States and Canada.  The successful extraction of palladium in the Philippines will make it the biggest producer of this commodity at 3.8 million metric tons.  The estimated revenue from palladium production in the Philippines is US$ 9.8 (or an estimated PhP 410 trillion) per year in net profit.  This will be enough to catapult Philippine economy to 1st World status.

This is really good news for the Philippines.  However, are we ready for sudden wealth?  Are we matured enough (socio-economically and politically) for prosperity?  Are we really ready for palladium?

Just my little thoughts…

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