FNI, Russian firm ink ore processing deal

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LISTED miner Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI) inked on Tuesday a cooperation agreement with Russian firm Vi Holding LLC for the implementation of joint business projects in the processing of lateritic ores.

The agreement, inked amid the Philippines and Russia bilateral meetings during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit, was witnessed by both President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Upon implementation, Global Ferronickel said it hopes to take advantage of Vi Holding’s patented technology of processing nickel-bearing ore that requires significantly lower capital investment and production costs.

The agreement also seeks to improve mutually beneficial business links between Russia and the Philippines especially in the areas of mining, metallurgy, and energy.

“This technology makes it possible to quickly and efficiently build mining and metallurgical complexes comprising independent coal-fired power supply facilities,” Global Ferronickel told the local bourse.

Following the signing, the two parties are now in the stage of forming a joint working group to undertake initial testing of ore samples and conduct feasibility studies.

“We are one with the government in pushing for industrialization of the mining industry,” Global Ferronickel Chairman Joseph Sy said.

“Going into value-added processing has long been part of our business objectives and we are very excited at the prospects this new technology brings,” he added.

Previously, several key officials from the two firms visited Global Ferronickel’s subsidiary, Platinum Group Metals Corp. in Cagdianao, Surigao del Norte.

Platinum recently announced the completion of its full-year shipment of 5.97 million wet metric tons (WMT) or 109 vessels of nickel ore in 2017. This compares with the 4.309 million WMT shipped last year.

Vi Holding is a holding firm with business interests in mineral exploration and processing, real estate, energy, and innovative solutions.

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