The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2017

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 18 of 55

Volume 14 • Issue 4 | 2017 | ASIA Miner | 17 Philippines CAGDIANAO Mining Corporation (CMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp (NAC), has boosted its nickel operations and by the second week of November expects to have completed 39 shipments to China this year. Each shipment contains around 55,000 wet metric tonnes of nickel ore. There are three active mines within CMC's concessions, Pits 1, 3 and 5, covering a total of 30.94 hectares and production supervisor Noah Balonzo said the nickel deposits of CMC were sufficient to sustain operations for the next 20 years. Issued in November 1997, CMC's mineral production sharing agreement covers almost 697.05 hectares. Of this area, environ- mental spokesman Jean Alac said 268.21 hectares were consid- ered 'disturbed area'. He said about 60% of the mined-out area covering 70 of the 150 hectares undergoing progressive rehabili- tation had been planted with native and fruit-bearing trees. Around 12.2 hectares are undergoing rehabilitation. Mine facilities include a stock yard, waste dump, settling ponds, mine haulage roads, and CMC structures or buildings, including guest houses and offices. CMC is one of the three nickel-mining companies that continue to operate in Dinagat Islands, following former environment secretary Regina Lopez's crackdown against irresponsible mining. CMC mine planning engineer Mark Joseph Ostonal said the com- pany anticipated higher income despite lower revenues, aided by cost-cutting measures at its operations amid volatile market prices for nickel. NAC acquired CMC in 1999 and under the new management, it started commercial production in 2001. NAC is the country's largest producer of lateritic nickel ore and one of the largest in the world. In June, NAC reported that it expects to end this year with higher income, continuing the positive trend it experienced in the first three months. NAC president and chief executive officer Gerard Brimo said the company was hoping to sustain the profit turnaround it saw in the first quarter for the remainder of 2017. "We had a very good first quarter. Hopefully (we can sustain it for the rest of the year). I think we can. But then again, we have to see what happens to the prices in the market." PRODUCTION at OceanaGold's Didipio Gold-Copper Project in northern Luzon is expected to increase when underground produc- tion is delivered at the end of the year. Gold and copper production at the project has decreased this year with the cessation of open pit mining. During the June quarter there were 42,899 ounces of gold and 4322 tonnes of copper produced while in the first half of the year gold production totalled 105,647 ounces and copper production 10,277 tonnes. All in Sustaining Costs at Didipio in the quarter were US$147 per ounce while in the first half AISC was $15 per ounce. Didipio production was lower with the head grade decreasing fol- lowing the end of open pit mining resulting in a higher proportion of lower grade stockpiled ore being processed. The company remains on track to deliver on guidance this year for the sixth consecutive year. The total guidance for all operations in the Philippines, New Zealand and the US is 550,000-600,000 ounces and total copper production is 18,000-19,000 tonnes. Exploration continues to prove successful with infill and extension- al programs at Didipio and testing of near-mine targets. During the June quarter underground infill drilling continued with 28 holes completed for 5407 metres. All holes intersected minerali- sation and significant results include 120 metres @ 3.2 g/t gold and 0.7% copper, 123 metres @ 2.2 g/t gold and 0.5% copper, and 92 metres @ 3.67 g/t gold and 0.5% copper. Exploration continues within the broader FTAA area with detailed surface mapping and sampling at the D'Fox, Chinichinga, Napartan and Radio prospects. Drill targets have been identified at D'Fox and future drilling will test the northern down plunge extension of min- eralisation. At Chinichinga, surface mapping revealed exposures of mon- zonite and quartz-monzosyenite porphyry, similar to that of Didip- io deposit. Follow-up of coincident in soil anomalies at Napartan identified gold-copper mineralised pegmatitic dykes also being of similar composition to those characterising Didipio. Both locations will undergo further detailed mapping to understand the significance of these results. Recent geological mapping and soil sampling of Radio prospect has identified widespread, steeply dipping, auriferous quartz veins and breccias coincident with anomalous copper and gold in soils. CMC boosts nickel production Construction of the paste fill facility which will be utilised for the Didipio un- derground operations. Underground mine to lift Didipio production

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