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Epithermal Gold 2012
Epithermal Gold Deposits of the Western Pacific
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[Luzon Journey]
The Journey to Mankayan:   The day following the end of the Japanese leg of the tour was devoted to the long flight from Fukuoka, via Taipei to Hong Kong, with a connection to Manila in the Philippines, arriving late at 9:40 pm, due to weather-related delays in Hong Kong and a lost bag.   One participant finished his tour in Fukuoka, while two more joined in Manila.   The departure next morning by charter bus, was at 05:30 am to beat the morning traffic chaos in Manila, with breakfast at the stop following the first of the two hour driving segments.   Once out of Manila, a fast freeway took the group north, before it became a highway across the low country to the Philippine Fault where the road entered the mountainous terrane of the Cordillera.   Lunch was on a balcony overlooking Baguio City (top right image), where the altitude tempered the hot climate of the tropics.   The Halsema Highway took us north from Baguio City, winding through the Cordillera, negotiating extreme terrane, where land-slips are common on near vertical slopes (see the thin line on the main image - the road ahead from across the valley).   The road is in places cut into the cliffs (lower right image).   At one stage our bus had a puncture necessitating a precarious wheel change on the narrow, but busy road (upper left image).   The group finally arrived at Mankayan and our destination, the Lepanto-Far South-east project just on nightfall.   We had been assured that, despite the length of the drive and the conditions, travel by road was the safest option on offer.   The equipment used had been audited and approved by our hosts, Gold Fields, and the bus had a two man crew to ensure against fatigue.
Photographs by Mike Porter.

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