Large Philippines mining operator Nickel Asia is reportedly eyeing the addition of two more producing mines in the coming three years, adding additional output to what is already the second-largest global nickel producing country.
Company chief executive and president Martin Antonio Zamora told Reuters that the company, which already owns a portion of the Philippines' only two nickel ore processing plants, that it is seeking to boost its renewable energy business investment as well as it works towards an initial public offering (IPO) over that same time period.
Specifically, Nickel Asia (owned in part by Sumitomo Metal Mining) is targeting at least 4 million wet metric tonnes (wMt) of nickel ore production from the Bulanjao mine, near its Rio Tuba site in the Palawan province, and at least 2 Mt from Manicani mine in the central Samar province.
Nickel Asia also wants to increase its shipment of ore from the Dinapigue mine, located in the northeastern Isabela province, and is planning to develop its Kepha site, located near the Taganito mine in southern Surigao del Norte province. The latter of the group will begin with production of 2 million tonnes annually.
Reuters noted that the Philippines is pushing to attract domestic processing investment and also boost the value of its exports; its top consumer is currently China.
Nickel Asia told the news service it will conduct due diligence for the two potential nickel mining sites in southern Davao Oriential province under a recently forged deal with two domestic companies. That deal involves studies to determine the economic and technical viability of a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant for ore processing, which may take at least one year.
If the next steps are found to be feasible, construction of the plant could take two to three more years.