Corporate News

Global Ferronickel starts deploying nickel ore shipments to China this year

Posted on April 12, 2017

GLOBAL FERRONICKEL Holdings, Inc. (GFNi) started deploying its first nickel ore shipments to China this year, as the listed miner hopes to meet its full-year shipment target.

In a statement, the country’s second top nickel supplier said its lone operating mine in Cagdianao, through its wholly owned subsidiary Platinum Group Metals Corp., (PGMC), began delivery of nickel ore to China with the first shipment leaving Surigao del Norte last Sunday.

“We’ve had an early start to mining operations this year due to favorable weather conditions. We look forward to continued good weather in the weeks and months to come to meet our 2017 shipment target of 6 million WMT (wet metric tons),” GFNi President Dante R. Bravo was quoted as saying.

GFNi said the loading of nine additional vessels will be completed until May.

PGMC has earlier signed supply agreements for the delivery of up to 4 million WMT at prevailing market prices to several “long-standing” customers based in China. The company is hoping to secure more supply deals to match its target production.

“We would like to take advantage of the rebound in nickel prices,” Mr. Bravo said.

For April, almost two-thirds of the miner’s shipments will be medium-grade nickel ore, while the remaining balance will be low-grade nickel ore.

“The market prices of our medium-grade ore and low-grade ore have risen by 50% on average compared to the same period last year,” the GFNi president added

Strong demand for stainless steel in China, as well as continued improvement of nickel prices in the world market is seen to lift GFNi’s prospects for the year.

GFNi said the World Bank’s Commodity Outlook Report released in January showed the recovery of nickel prices in both real and nominal terms is expected to continue this year.

The World Bank report forecasts nickel prices to surge to $11,000 per metric ton in nominal US dollars this year, from last year’s $9,595, with continued improvement seen in 2018 and beyond.

Last month, GFNi said PGMC was removed from the Environment department’s list of operational metal mines up for closure.

Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on Feb. 2 announced 23 mines were up for closure and five for suspension.

To recall, Global Ferronickel earlier said that PGMC received on Feb. 20 a DENR’s show-cause notice dated Feb. 13 directing it explain why it should not be held liable for the alleged violation of failing to deposit its committed amount for its final mine and rehabilitation decommissioning fund, a violation the firm denied. -- Janina C. Lim