Sunday, November 16, 2008

Copper in Cambodia

It seems copper has bacterial and fungus-fighting properties. Companies in Chile, the world's largest copper producer, are experimenting with new products that take advantage of these properties, products like copper socks, towels and poles for public transport systems.

"One Chilean entrepreneur, Joaquin Ruiz, has invented copper sponge filters to be used to purify water used on salmon farms to eliminate disease and fungi, and reduce the use of large amounts of costly antibiotics currently employed to do the same job.

"That means huge savings. Instead of using large quantities of antibiotics and germ killing agents, with this you are just putting up a simple sanitary barrier," Ruiz, the developer of the Metal Foam sponges, told Reuters."

It would be great if Cambodia could do the same to purify water here. I don't know what the costs are like but it is financially viable if used to kill Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium which occurs in HIV patients, including in HIV-affected children in Cambodia

"If you prevent one MRSA infection, you save $21,000, so your return on investment will be very very short, perhaps one patient," Michael Schmidt, of the University of South Carolina medical school to Reuters. "So this is going to be a fairly efficient and inexpensive solution to combat infections."

I wondered if this could be a new industry for Cambodia, so I googled Copper and Cambodia. I found this : "In addition to natural gas and petroleum, Cambodia has geologic environments that have the potential to host resources of bauxite, copper, gold, granite, kaolin, limestone, pagodite, peat, sand and gravel, silica sand, slate, tin, and zinc (World Investment News, 2004).

An Australian company, Oz Minerals, is already digging for the mineral.

"Oz Minerals is currently earning 80% in the Shin Ha joint venture with a local Cambodia company.

Within the Shin Ha JV, early stage drilling, surface sampling and geophysics at the Okvau-Oput area in north-east Cambodia, has identified a promising trend of gold mineralisation. Further drilling to delineate the size potential of this discovery is planned for early in 2008. Other gold areas in Cambodia, including Phnom Chi, 100km west of Okvau, are also being explored, along with an area prospective for copper."

Copper was also found in the Kampong Thom area, according to .

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