Miners May Avoid Shutdowns in Philippine Audit as Nickel Drops – by Cecilia Yap (Bloomberg News – October 4, 2016)


A mining audit in the world’s top nickel supplier that’s threatened mass closures may see producers prevail, with companies signaling their confidence shutdowns can be avoided as they race to remedy problems flagged in the nationwide Philippine checkup. Futures dropped.

Nickel Asia Corp. said its Hinatuan Mining Corp. unit, among those slated for closure unless it fixes shortcomings, remains in operation a week after the audit’s findings and it’s expected to stay that way, according to a statement on Tuesday. Separately, OceanaGold Corp. said its Didipio copper-gold mine is also still in business and talks with officials have been constructive.

“I am highly confident that our Didipio operations will continue to operate without interruption,” OceanaGold President and Chief Executive Officer Mick Wilkes said in an exchange release on Tuesday. Talks include discussions with Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who’s led the checkup, and the company said it was sticking with full-year production guidance for the site.

The Philippine government said last week that three-quarters of the nation’s mines fell short in the audit ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, with 20 mines facing suspension on top of 10 already halted.

The prospects of significant interruptions to the flow of minerals, especially nickel ore, has helped to lift prices in a market that already faces a deficit. The country accounts for about a quarter of global mined nickel supply.

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