Intex, Chinese partner to build Philippines’ first nickel plant
Intex Resources ASA has unveiled plans to build the country’s first refined nickel processing plant, as part of its partnership with a unit of China’s Jinchuan Group for its Mindoro mining project.
In a statement and disclosure to the Oslo Stock Exchange, the company said that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the MCC8 Group Co. Ltd., which is a Chinese state-owned engineering and construction firm.
The company is a strategic partner of the Jinchuan Group, which is China’s largest nickel producer.
“We are very pleased to see that Mindoro Nickel’s green mining concept has been met with genuine interest from one of Asia’s largest and most prestigious companies in the nonferrous metallurgical industry, a company that has a declared focus on modern environmental solutions,” said Intex CEO John Steen Petersen.
“MCC8 has a strong financial background and is also a company that has a demonstrated capability for sustainable green solutions in its many recent projects,” he added. “Intex is looking forward to see Mindoro Nickel developed for the benefit of its many stakeholders, the provinces of Mindoro Island and the Philippine nation.”
The project will mine low-grade lateritic nickel ore and process it into nickel metal in Mindoro, as the first refined nickel-metal plant in the country.
In the process, the project will be generating 110 megawatts of carbon-free electrical power from steam generated in its acid plant, thus avoiding fossil fuels for power, and provide the project with an “exceptionally low” carbon footprint.
Intex said that the “environmental benefits” it provides will make the Mindoro nickel project set new standards for the mining industry and introduce the concept of “green mining” locally.
The agreement with MCC8 was signed earlier this month in Shenzen, China.
The company develops, and forms consortia that undertake project finance, plant engineering and construction, mine operation and equity investments.
It is also engaged in the development of several major projects in Asia and Africa.
The MOU anticipates the project will be financed through a consortium to be led by MCC8.
“In selecting MCC8 as a strategic partner for the development of the Mindoro nickel project, we gave primordial consideration to their demonstrated capability for sustainable green solutions in its many recent projects,” the Intex chief said.
“Our choice of MCC8 emphasizes that we put maximum priority in environmental soundness and sustainability in our plans for the realization of Mindoro Nickel,” he added.
In line with the commitment of the proponents of Mindoro Nickel to make the project an environmentally friendly undertaking, Intex has been planting numerous varieties of trees both for rehabilitation and for livelihood purposes.
Mined out areas can be immediately rehabilitated and replanted as the mining activity is transferred to the adjacent area and in few years, endemic forest growth will be reestablished and the land returned for local use.