Philippines: Ore-to-Nickel and Cobalt Processing Facility

Eramen Minerals Inc. (“EMI”) invites submissions of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to conduct a Feasibility Study (“FS”) to assess the viability of developing an ore-to-battery grade nickel sulfate/hydroxide and cobalt sulfate processing facility to produce battery grade precursor materials (“Project”) in the Philippines. The Proposal submission deadline is 4 a.m. EST / 5 p.m. Manila Time on March 15, 2023. The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a US $1,027,720 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

About the Grantee
EMI is a Filipino mining company specializing in nickel laterite mining operations. EMI was established in 2002 and commenced production at its mine in Zambales Province in 2011. EMI focuses on the extraction of mineral commodities including nickel laterite ore, cobalt, chromite, and other associated minerals.

Project Background
In 2005, EMI was granted a 25-year Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (“MPSA”) by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) covering approximately 11,500 acres of land containing measured ore resources of 16 million metric tons (“MT”) in Sta. Cruz and Candelaria, Zambales. Production and export of high-grade nickel ore began at EMI’s site in 2012, and current nickel ore exports are approximately 1.2 million MT per year to buyers in Asia, primarily for the stainless-steel industry.

EMI has identified the opportunity to build an ore-to-battery grade nickel sulfate/hydroxide and cobalt sulfate facility at its current mining location. The proposed facility would recover nickel through extractive processing and use approximately 600,000 MT of EMI’s mine production to produce 20,000 MT of mixed hydroxide precipitate (“MHP”) annually for sale as battery precursor materials. In addition to MHP, the plant could produce other higher-value products, such as magnetite, cobalt, and scandium that could be extracted as byproducts.

About the Feasibility Study
The FS will support EMI in assessing the viability of developing an ore-to-battery grade nickel sulfate/hydroxide and cobalt sulfate processing facility on the site of its existing mine in the Philippines. The FS will confirm the preferred technology and processing method to be used to produce battery grade precursor material. The FS will perform technical, economic, and environmental assessments of the potential processing options, which will be used by EMI to select a final processing method.

For the processing method selected, the FS will conduct more detailed bench-scale tests to optimize the processing method and to develop more accurate capital and operating cost estimates. Based on these results, the FS will develop conceptual parameters for a nickel processing facility, including identifying infrastructure and equipment requirements. The FS will also assess power supply options, water supply and discharge issues, and solid waste management options to ensure the long-term environmental sustainability of the facility.

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Philippines: Ore-to-Nickel and Cobalt Processing Facility

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