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Philippines' new nickel miner completes maiden ore shipment to China

Kitco News

MANILA, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The Philippines' second-biggest nickel ore exporter, Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, said on Tuesday its affiliate Ipilan Nickel Corp has completed a maiden shipment of 54,700 wet metric tonnes (WMT) of medium-grade ore to China.

Ipilan's inaugural shipment from its mine in the western Philippine province of Palawan was sold to Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co Ltd, a long-standing customer of Global Ferronickel's subsidiary, Platinum Group Metals Corp.

Ipilan aims to extract 500,000 WMT of ore this year from the Palawan mine and scale up annual output of medium to high-grade material to 1.5 million WMT, Global Ferronickel Chairman Joseph Sy said.

Estimated mine life is at least 10 years, he said in a statement.

About 12 new metallic mines in the Philippines should begin commercial operations this year, mostly nickel projects, according to industry regulator Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Nickel ore from the Southeast Asian country, which is among China's key suppliers of the material, is used mainly in producing nickel pig iron, a cheaper alternative to pure nickel for stainless steel production.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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