A delegation of landowners and
provincial reps from Isabel and Choiseul was reportedly impressed at Sumitomo’s
nickel operations in the Philippines.
The group went on the look and learn trip as part of preparations for Sumitomo’s proposed nickel operations in the country.
The Japanese company is currently doing nickel operations in Choiseul and Isabel.
Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Philip Tagini, who accompanied the delegation, said they were impressed with what they’ve seen.
Tagini said apart from a well-managed operation with high regard for the environment, Sumitomo also provided better incentives to the communities in the Philippines.
He said there are still a number of issues to be sorted here before Sumitomo could start actual mining operations.
“It’s still a long way to go,” Tagini said.
According to the Nikkei English News, Sumitomo Metal Mining plans to spend about 200 billion yen ($1.93 billion) to develop a nickel mine here.
Its proposed operation here will see the
construction of a refinery, a power plant and port facilities.
The refinery will process nickel ore into metal with 55 percent purity by 2013 or later, with the output shipped to another Sumitomo plant for more purification, the news service said.
Executives anticipate annual output of
around 30,000 tonnes, with sales mostly to Japanese customers as bullion.
Tokyo-based Sumitomo Metal Mining has been exploring for nickel-ore deposits here since 2006.
Japan accounts for 13 percent of worldwide nickel demand, taking in a little less than 900,000 tonnes a year.
By Elliot Dawea
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