Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc., the second largest nickel producer in the Philippines, said Tuesday it signed a cooperation agreement with Russia’s Vi Holding Llc. to undertake the joint processing of lateritic nickel ores.
FNI said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that company chairman Joseph Sy and Vi Holding chairman Valery Krasnov signed the agreement at the sidelines of the Philippines-Russia bilateral meeting during the 31st Asean Summit.
The signing was witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medveded.
FNI said the agreement aimed to enhance mutually beneficial business cooperation between the two countries, especially in the areas of mining, metallurgy and energy.
FNI said it was hoping to take advantage of Vi Holding’s patented technology of processing nickel-bearing ore that requires significantly lower capital investment coupled with lower production costs. This technology makes it possible to quickly and efficiently build mining and metallurgical complexes comprising independent coal-fired power supply facilities, it said.
Both companies are now in the process of forming a joint working group to undertake the initial testing of ore samples and to conduct feasibility studies.
“We are one with the government in pushing for industrialization of the mining industry,” said FNI chairman Joseph Sy.
“Going into value added processing has long been part of our business objectives and we are very excited at the prospects this new technology brings,” Sy said.
Several key executive of Vi Holding recently visited FNI’s subsidiary Platinum Group Metals Corp. in Cagdianao, Surigao del Norte and were impressed by its operations.
PGMC announced the shipment of 5.970 million wet metric tons or 109 vessels of nickel ore in 2017. This was higher than 4.309 million WMT shipped in 2016 and 5.352 million WMT in 2015.
Vi Holding is a member of an international investment and industrial group of companies from Russia with interests in mineral exploration and processing, real estate, energy and innovative solutions for the implementation of joint business projects in the processing of lateritic ores.