SHANGHAI, Aug 20 (SMM) – The Philippine may soon suspend mining activities in its southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi, the country’s biggest exporter of high-grade nickel ore to China, due to resource depletion and degradation, according to a preliminary decision by the Philippine Minister of Resources.
SMM learned that three key mines, ANC, PAX and SR Languyan, are in Tawi–Tawi. ANC has suspended shipments on resource exhaustion. While PAX and SR Languyan maintained normal shipments so far, SR Languyan, the largest high-grade nickel ore supplier in the Philippines, planned to stop mining in October as its ore deposits are also nearly depleted.
SMM expects closure of miners in Tawi-Tawi in October though a final decree has not been confirmed. Dwindling resources will make it harder to explore new nickel mines.
Suspension of local mining will likely reduce an annual supply of 79,000 mt metal content of nickel ore, which accounted for 3.5% of the global supply, SMM estimated.
SMM data showed that a total of some 150 vessels carrying 8.25 million wmt of nickel ore departed the Tawi-Tawi area in 2018, accounting for 21% of the total shipments from the Philippine.
Worries about tightened shipments of nickel ore from the Philippines is expected to extend increases in nickel ore prices this week.