Mining company Nickel Asia Corp. is interested in exploring mineral resources and developing a mineral processing plant in Davao.

In a disclosure, Nickel Asia said Hallmark Mining Corp. and Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp. accepted its letter of intent for the listed firm or its subsidiary to be the sole and exclusive mining service contractor for Hallmark and Austral-Asia’s mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA).

Nickel Asia said its commitments under the agreement are subject to its “conduct of due diligence and exploration activities as well as the execution of definitive agreements among the parties.”

“The letter of intent also permits the conduct of a feasibility study to determine the economic and technical viability for Nickel Asia to establish a High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) or equivalent mineral processing plant within the [mining] area,” it added.

An HPAL extracts nickel and cobalt from laterite ore bodies.

Hallmark has a mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA No. 196-2004-XI) covering 4,999.71 hectares located in Mati and San Isidro, Davao Oriental.

Subsequently, Austral-Asia’s MPSA No. 197-2004-XI is spanning 5,000 hectares in Mati and Governor Generoso, also in Davao Oriental.


Under the MPSA, the government shares in the production of the contractor, whether in kind or in value, as owner of the materials while the contractor provides the financing, technology, management and personnel for the mining project.

Nickel Asia, which operates various mine sites through its subsidiaries, reported a first-semester net income of P3.83 billion in 2022, an increment of 41 percent primarily on the back of higher nickel ore prices.

Nickel Asia subsidiary Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., operates a mine site in Bataraza town in Palawan. It exports saprolite and limonite ore, and provides limonite ore and nonmining services to the adjacent Coral Bay HPAL plant.

Another unit Taganito Mining Corp. runs a mine site in Claver, Surigao del Norte, which exports saprolite and limonite ore, and provides limonite ore and nonmining services to the Taganito HPAL plant.

Hinatuan Mining Corp. has a mine site in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte which ships saprolite and limonite ore.

Meanwhile, Cagdianao Mining Corp. runs a mine site in Cagdianao, situated in the northeastern side of Dinagat Islands which also delivers saprolite and limonite ore.

Reprinted from the Philippine Daily Inquirer

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