Agata Mining Ventures Inc (AMVI) completed one shipment of higher nickel grade saprolite ore during June 2015 for gross proceeds of US$1.83 million from the Agata nickel laterite project located in northern Mindanao, the Philippines. AMVI is a joint venture company in which TVI Pacific’s Philippine affiliate TVIRD holds a 60% interest and is the operator, and Mindoro Resources holds 40%.
No shipments were made in May due to reduced demand for lower grade limonite ore. Market prices for all grades of Philippine nickel laterite ore have fallen precipitously since the Agata operations commenced in October 2014. For ore containing 0.6% to 0.9% nickel and 49% iron content, known as limonite ore, prices fell from an average of $22 per tonne in the earlier part of 2014 to $13 per tonne in November 2014 and have been consistently trading at $11 per tonne since March 2015.
For ore containing more than 1.5% nickel and 15% to 20% iron, known as saprolite ore, prices fell from well in excess of $100 per tonne in early 2014 to $40 per tonne in November 2014 and have been trading consistently at $31 to $33 per tonne since March 2015.
“Due to ongoing depressed Philippine nickel laterite prices and currently reduced demand for lower nickel grade limonite ore, AMVI continues to adjust its shipment schedule and marketing of the shipments to ensure continued operational profitability,” says TVI’s chairman Clifford James. “Despite this challenging situation, we remain optimistic that positive developments at TVIRD’s other projects will support TVIRD in seeking a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange later this year – the achievement of which is expected to enhance TVI’s 30.66% investment and to provide us with a possible source of funding for future projects.”
The one higher nickel grade saprolite ore shipment completed in June by AMVI represented the 14th shipment completed since operations commenced. The shipment, completed on June 19, totalled 59,971 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of saprolite ore containing 1.50% nickel and 21.56% iron. AMVI expects to receive gross revenue of $1.83 million for the shipment (pending final assay and price adjustments) which was calculated based on a $30.50 per tonne selling price.
Three other shipments containing low nickel/high iron limonite ore commenced loading during the month but are still being completed due to weather delays.
These shipments are expected to be completed in July along with one shipment of saprolite ore.