Sumitomo to Move Ahead on Philippine Nickel Project

Sumitomo Metal Mining announced a decision in mid-September 2009 to proceed with a $1.3-billion project to build a plant to produce a mixed nickel-cobalt sulphide product at Taganito in the northeastern region of Mindanao Island in the Philippines. In tandem with its decision, Sumitomo concluded a memorandum of understanding on joint implementation of the project with Nickel Asia Corp., the Philippines’ largest nickel mining company.

The Taganito project is planned as a large-scale hydrometallurgical plant that will apply high-pressure acid leaching to produce 30,000 mt/y of nickel metal equivalent in a mixed nickel-cobalt product containing about 57% nickel. Taganito Mining Corp., a subsidiary of Nickel Asia, will supply low-grade nickel ore as plant feed. Sumitomo will purchase the plant’s production for final processing at its refinery in Japan. The project is expected to employ about 4,000 workers during construction and 1,000 full-time employees when operational. Construction is expected to begin in early 2010, and production is scheduled to begin in 2013 and to continue over a period of 30 years.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 08 -