NICKEL ASIA Corp. has bought 33.05 million common shares of Coral Bay Nickel Corp. (CBNC) for $25.93 million, it said on Monday.

“This investment by the company was made in furtherance of its commitments toward sustainability, environmental protection and renewable energy, since the processing of lateritic nickel ores by the CBNC plant allows the utilization of cobalt and nickel derived from such ores for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries,” Nickel Asia said in a disclosure.

Nickel Asia purchased the shares from Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (SMM), which is the majority shareholder of CBNC.

“The sale and purchase transaction also strengthens the long-standing partnership between the company and SMM,” it added.

CBNC operates the Coral Bay high-pressure acid leach or HPAL processing plant in Bataraza, Palawan which processes metals from lateritic nickel ore.

The acquisition of the additional CBNC shares increased Nickel Asia’s equity ownership in CBNC to 15.625% from 10%.

In the first half, Nickel Asia’s attributable net income went up by 40.3% to P3.83 billion from P2.73 billion, driven by higher nickel ore prices and favorable exchange rates.

On Monday, company shares ended lower by 1.38% or P0.07 to finish at P5.00 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson