AGATA Mining Ventures Inc (AMVI), a joint venture company involving TVI Pacific (60%) and Mindoro Resources (40%), is increasing nickel direct shipping ore (DSO) shipments from the Agata Nickel Laterite Project in northern Mindanao. The increase reflects the completion of production ramp-up activities that included causeway expansion and stockpile area development work.

Mining operations at the Agata Nickel Laterite Project in northern Mindanao.During March AMVI completed three shipments of high-iron/low nickel direct DSO for expected gross proceeds of US$1.93 million and in April the joint venture expected to complete four DSO shipments, subject to weather conditions, consisting of two shipments of high iron/low nickel limonite and two shipments of higher grade nickel saprolite.

“We look forward to the anticipated increase in shipment capacity in April and to potentially realizing higher selling prices from the saprolite DSO, which has higher nickel content than the limonite ore,” said Mindoro’s CEO Penny Gould. “AMVI’s plans to ramp up operations to ship over 2.5 million wet metric tonnes of nickel laterite in 2015 would make the Agata project one of the largest DSO operations in the Philippines and potentially add significant value to Mindoro’s 40% interest in the project.”

The limonite ore shipments completed in March represent the eighth through 10th shipments completed by AMVI since operations commenced in October 2014. The eighth shipment totalling 54,231 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of ore containing 0.92% nickel and 48.10% iron was completed on March 13 for expected gross revenue of US$678,000.

The ninth shipment totalling 48,961 wmt of ore containing 0.90% nickel and 48.01% iron was completed on March 20 for expected gross revenue of US$612,000, and the 10th shipment totalling 51,250 wmt of ore containing 0.90% nickel and 48.60% iron was completed on March 27 for expected gross revenue of US$641,000.

At the end of March AMVI had completed 10 shipments containing 528,757 wmt of limonite DSO for total gross proceeds of US$7.04 million.

The Agata project is in Agusan del Norte province, within the Surigao mining region. This is a major lateritic nickel producing region providing ore to processing plants in Australia, China, Korea and Japan. The project is well located and expected to benefit from its deep protected seaport, the opportunity for year-round shipping and its proximity to main markets in Asia.

An initial offtake agreement was signed by AMVI in June 2014 with Tewoo Hoperay (Singapore) for the sale of 1 million wmt of high-iron/low nickel limonite DSO, and a second agreement was signed in August 2014 to sell 500,000 wmt.

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