Global Ferronickel, China's Baiyin eye stainless steel plant
MANILA, Philippines – Global Ferronickel Holdings Incorporated, one of the country's largest nickel producers, signed a cooperation deal with China’s state-owned enterprise Baiyin Nonferrous Group Company Limited to develop projects here, such as a proposed $500 million-$700 million stainless steel plant.
The local nickel producer said in a statement on Friday, October 21 that it inked a memorandum of cooperation with Baiyin, one of the largest producers of non-ferrous metals in China, to “boost trade and economic collaboration between the two countries.”
The signing happened during President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China.
China is the largest consumer of nickel in the world, accounting for around half of global consumption.
“Both companies recognize the economic benefits of a partnership arising from the availability of low-cost nickel ore in the Philippines, for which Global Ferronickel is a key supplier to major customers in China, and China’s large and growing demand for nickel ore which is a key ingredient in China’s production of stainless steel, coins, rechargeable batteries and special alloys,” the local nickel producer said.
Stainless steel plant, Ipilan mine
Global Ferronickel and Baiyin intend to develop a “long-term strategic partnership” in evaluating economic feasibility of developing natural resource projects in the Philippines. (READ: Philippines driving up nickel prices - industry group)
Tabled for discussion, among others, are trade financing plans for the operations of Global Ferronickel’s Ipilan mine and construction of an integrated 200-series stainless steel plant in the country.
Global Ferronickel said the proposed stainless steel plant is intended to have an annual capacity of one million tons, using lower grade nickel ore sourced in the Philippines.
“We see Baiyin as a strong partner who will play a vital role with us in creating greater value added in the nickel value chain in the Philippines,” Global Ferronickel Chairman Joseph Sy said.
In turn, Baiyin Chairman Liao Ming said his company is looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the local nickel producer.
Baiyin said it has a total asset value of over $7 billion, and has produced over 5.5 million tons of base metals over the past 6 decades.
Global Ferronickel, meanwhile, is one of the lowest cost producers of nickel ore in the Philippines.
Its operations in Cagdianao, Surigao del Norte received ISO 14001:2015 Environment Management Systems Certification and passed the recent audit of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Global Ferronickel's Ipilan mine is expected to begin production in 2017. – Rappler.com