Top Philippine Nickel Miners May Spend $2 Billion in New Plants – by Cliff Venzon (Bloomberg News – September 21, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — The Philippines’ two biggest nickel producers are planning to invest about $1 billion each to build processing plants, the companies’ top executives said, boosting the government’s push to develop the Southeast Asian nation’s downstream mineral industry.

Nickel Asia Corp. is eyeing a third high-pressure acid leaching plant near a mining project in Pujada peninsula in southern Davao Oriental province where it is in “final negotiations” to acquire the rights to operate it, President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Antonio Zamora said in an interview on Wednesday on the sidelines of a mining conference in Manila.

“If we successfully acquire the rights to the Pujada mine, that can accommodate one HPAL plant,” Zamora said, adding that a 30,000-metric ton plant would cost about $1 billion or more depending on the technology.

Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. is in talks with a Chinese firm for its first HPAL facility with a capacity of about 40,000 metric tons to be constructed near its mines in southern Surigao province, President Dante Bravo said in a separate interview.

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