MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ top exporter of high-grade nickel ore is expected to shut its mining operations soon as ore deposits at a project in the nation’s southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi are nearly depleted, a ministry official told Reuters.
SR Languyan Mining Corp will shut “most likely” later this year, said Jaynul Ali Sambarani, head of mines and geoscience services at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
The closure will likely reduce the Philippines’ monthly exports of nickel ore to top metals consumer China by 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes, based on estimates by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
“It’s a major supplier of high-grade ores,” MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano told Reuters on Friday. SR Languyan is not among the large-scale nickel miners under MGB’s jurisdiction, and Moncano could not confirm or deny the shutdown.
The mid-sized miner is one of more than two dozen nickel ore producers in the Philippines, China’s second-biggest supplier of nickel ores, which are mostly used in producing stainless steel and for battery materials.