1. Mineral Resources

Buguias is blessed with mineral resources. Copper, iron and copper could be found along Amlimay, Toking, and at Loo. Minerals were unknown to the original settlers since their preoccupation was on agriculture. With enough animals to barter with needed metal tools and wares, they never exhausted mineral resources. It was only in c. 1940 that one Harry Baron discovered some deposits of copper ore at Toking, Manhoyohoy and Poblacion and started exploring for possible mining. However, the exploration was not productive for mining and Mr. Baron abandoned the exploration after two years. In Amlimay, gold particles were observed on exposed rocks and some miners from Kabayan started mining in 1981, but abandoned it in 1983 due to poor yield. Some carried the fear of being caved in inside the shaft.

2. Mining Practices

There are customary beliefs associated with mining. The settlers believed that the spirits deposited the minerals; they were thus especially sensitive not to harm and do what the spirits dislike. They believed that the spirits might cause the minerals to disappear when some practices are not observed. Thus, for miners, it is paniyew (sacred prohibition) to make contact with the opposite sex at least three days before entering the mines. Before mining, a ritual is performed with the offering of one pig and a night of observation and vigilance (ngilin). Sneezing is prohibited inside the mining shaft.

Pocket miners undertake gold mining by digging and following gold veins. Rocks and soils containing gold nuggets were brought out, hammered and split to smaller parts then further made into fine grains called naba (gold concentrates). In a special pan, the naba is mixed with mercury and placed in fire. With the chemical action of mercury being heated, gold is separated from other particles and other impurities.