The Philippine unit of Canada’s TVI Pacific Inc. said it has completed its seventh shipment of nickel ore from its joint venture, Agata Nickel Laterite Project in Mindanao worth some P30.6 million.
In a statement, TVI Resources Development (Phils.) Inc. (TVIRD) announced that Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) completed a shipment of 55,400 wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel limonite ore.
The high-iron/low-nickel limonite ore, which contains 0.88 percent nickel and 48.47 percent iron, was worth an estimated $693,000 (P30.6 million).
The shipment left the Payong-Payong port in Agusan del Norte in February in accordance with an off-take arrangement between TVIRD and Tewoo Hoperay (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
In addition to completing one limonite shipment during February, AMVI had also planned to make one shipment of higher-grade nickel saprolite ore to secure higher selling prices.
“However, due to continuous wet weather conditions, AMVI now expects to commence shipments of saprolite ore beginning in April to allow the saprolite ore adequate drying time as required to meet buyer specifications,” TVIRD said.
For the month of March, AMVI expects to complete three shipments of limonite ore and has already commenced loading of one shipment on March 6.
AMVI continues to ramp up its direct shipping ore operations with the goal of shipping over 2.5 million WMT of ore in 2015.
In order to achieve this goal, AMVI expects to increase its shipment schedule to four shipments of limonite ore per month and at least one to two shipments of saprolite ore per month once causeway expansion and stockpile area development work has been completed.
“TVIRD remains focused on maximizing operational efficiency and ramping up production at Agata to generate revenue and cash flows that will support its valuation as it seeks a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange later this year,” said Clifford James, chairman and chief executive officer of TVI and chairman of TVIRD.
“The listing would then substantially enhance TVI’s current 30.66 percent investment and provide TVI with a possible source of funding for future projects,” James added.
The Agata project is held by AMVI, a joint venture company in which TVIRD holds a 60 percent interest and is the operator, and the remaining interest is held by Mindoro Resources Ltd.
TVI currently has a 30.66 percent interest in TVIRD as well as a 14.4 percent equity interest in Mindoro, and thereby has a 24.2 percent indirect ownership interest in AMVI.
The Agata Project is located in Agusan del Norte Province, within the Surigao mining region, which is considered a major lateritic nickel producing region providing ore to processing plants in Australia, China, Korea and Japan.