March 28, 2006
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (SMM: Minato-ku, Tokyo/ President: Koichi Fukushima) has finalized plans to double the production capacity of high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plant at its affiliate Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), located on Palawan Island in the Philippines. SMM is planning to construct a duplication of an existing production line.
The first production line went into operation in April 2005 and achieved an operation at its full capacity in November. The successful ramping-up of the operation encouraged SMM to build the second line, and the new production line will be constructed at an investment of US$285 million, with plans calling for production to commence in April 2009. SMM will start detailed engineering and seeking the relating permits from the relevant authorities.
CBNC currently produces nickel-cobalt mixed sulfide, of which nickel content is about 55%, drawing on approximately 10,000 tons of nickel and 700 tons of cobalt per year.
HPAL technology enables recovery of nickel and cobalt from low-grade nickel oxide ore, and CBNC has successfully attained designed production capacity in the short term. With the success of operations at the first HPAL production line at CBNC last year, SMM today ranks as a leader in this technology worldwide.