MAC: Mines and Communities

Rusina Mining Plans To Invest 600 Mln Usd In Philippine Projects

Published by MAC on 2007-06-07
Source: AFX News Limited

Rusina Mining plans to invest 600 mln usd in Philippine projects

AFX News Limited, Forbes

7th June 2007

MANILA (XFN-ASIA) - Rusina Mining NL plans to invest up to US$ 600 mln usd in the next four years for the development of various mine sites and the construction of a nickel processing plant in the Philippines, chief executive Robert Gregory said.

'We are looking at different strategies and approaches to accelerate our mining interests in the Philippines,' Gregory told reporters at a mining conference here.

On top of Rusina Mining's plans is to build a 500-mln usd 'heap leach' processing plant in Zambales, northwest of the capital Manila, Gregory said.

Heap leaching of mined ores is a technology that allows gold, copper, nickel and other precious metals to be extracted from low-grade ores at low capital and operating costs.

'This technology would allow us to get value-added from the nickel ore deposits in Acoje mines, not to mention platinum and chromite,' said Gregory.

He said the company's partner for the plant, European Nickel PLC, will be injecting an initial 10 mln usd to conduct a feasibility study. It is targeting to operate the plant in four years.

Rusina Mining, he said, may also partially finance a 100 mln usd smelter plant that DMCI Holdings Inc is planning to construct in Semirara Island in central Philippines.

DMCI and Rusina Mining earlier formed a joint venture company, Zambales Diversified Metals Corp, to develop and process nickel extracted from the Acoje mines.

Recently, the joint venture firm acquired an environmental compliance certificate for the commercial operations of Acoje, last mined eight years ago, primarily for platinum and chromite. The mines are estimated to have nickel ore reserves of up to 33 mln tons.

Gregory said that by next month, Zambales Diversified Metals will make its initial bulk sample shipment of 50,000 tons of nickel ore to China. 'Eventually, we want to bring the volume up to 1 mln tons and up to 2 mln tons.'

Aside from its mining interests in Luzon, Rusina Mining also holds mining exploration permits for copper and gold reserves in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato in southern Philippines.

Its South Cotabato exploration project is adjacent to the Tampakan copper-gold project of Xstrata Copper Plc and Sagittarius Mines Inc.

The Tampakan gold-copper site is believed to be the largest untapped mine reserve in Southeast Asia estimated to contain 11.6 mln tons of copper and 14.6 mln ounces of gold.


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