Top Frontier sees $600 million cashflow from nickel plant
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed $1.5 billion nickel-processing plant of the parent firm of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is set to yield $600 million in free cashflow per year when completed.

In a briefing after the company’s annual stockholders meeting, Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc. president and CEO Ramon Ang said the firm is still awaiting government approval for the proposed nickel-processing plant near its Nonoc mining site in Surigao.

The proposed facility will use high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology with a targeted annual output of 200,000 tons. It was supposed to be completed last year.

“If we are able to put up that HPAL and smelter , that will give us at least $600 million in free cashflow per year,” he said.

Last year, the company said it was in talks with several firms as possible equipment suppliers for the nickel project in Surigao del Norte under its mining unit Clariden Holdings Inc.

For the Nonoc nickel project, Clariden holds mining rights over 23,877 hectares in the island of Nonoc, Hanigad and Awasan Surigao City.

 The Nonoc nickel project was granted the fifth and final renewal of the two-year exploration period by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in February last year covering the period of Feb. 25, 2017 to Feb. 24, 2019 for the full implementation of the approved exploration work program and environmental work program, as well as the filing of Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF).

 SMC also plans to build a 600-megawatt (MW) power plant that could cost around $900 million to provide power to its upcoming nickel processing plant in Surigao del Norte.

The nickel plant would need to have a ready power supply of as much as 450 MW.

Apart from serving the nickel plant’s requirements, SMC will  also allot supply for the needs of the province.

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