Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, September 21, 2009

Miner raises funds for nickel plant in Zambales

AUSTRALIAN MINER Rusina Mining, Ltd. has secured a total of A$5.75 million from British investors for the development of a nickel plant in Zambales.

The proceeds will be used primarily as working capital and for contingencies for a farm-in agreement with European Nickel Plc, the miner said in a disclosure to the Australian bourse last week.

"Institutional investors in the United Kingdom have injected A$5.75 million in fresh capital to support moves by Rusina to develop a nickel-chromite mine in the Philippines," it said.

Rusina Mining and partner European Nickel are conducting a feasibility study for the construction of a $498-million nickel laterite heap leach plant. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by next year.

Nickel prices for cash buyers closed at $7.91 per pound, higher than the estimated $6/lb. production cost of Rusina. Prices of nickel averaged at $5.64/lb. and $4.75/lb. in the second and first quarters, respectively, given low demand, data from the London Metal Exchange showed.

Mining operations though remain suspended. In July, the direct ore shipping operations of the 3,765-hectare Acoje mine was shelved by listed DMCI Holdings, Inc. given low metal prices.

Rusina, European Nickel and local Montemina Resource Corp. aim to mine and process 50.1 million metric tons of ore containing 1.09% grade of nickel for 10 years starting in 2012. BusinessWorld

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