Improving nickel prices have prompted Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp to consider re-opening its Berong mine in Palawan.
The company’s subsidiary Berong Nickel Corp closed the mine in February 2009, laying off more than 600 workers, due to low nickel prices and poor demand.
With growth in China and other Asian countries beginning to pick up, demand for nickel is increasing, pushing up prices from the lows of the global financial crisis.
Atlas Consolidated’s chairman Alfredo C Ramos says the interest in nickel is starting to increase. “Hopefully we will be mining again soon.”
He says if Berong Nickel resumes operations, the miner will still ship nickel ores to traditional markets like Japan, South Korea and China.
Berong Nickel is a joint venture involving European Nickel, Atlas Consolidated and Toledo Mining Corp.
Atlas Consolidated is also considering constructing a processing plant at Berong to add value to the nickel ores.
The Berong mine, which the company says is the world’s fourth-largest nickel laterite resource, still has about 275 million tonnes of nickel ores ready to be extracted.