Nickel firm starts commissioning plant in Taganito, Surigao del Norte

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/23 June) — As a prelude to their commercial operations which will begin in September, the Taganito High-Pressured Acid Leach Plant (TPHAL) Nickel Corporation has started commissioning its hydrometallurgical processing plant in Barangay Taganito in  Claver town, Surigao del Norte.

Engr. Arturo Manto,  Vice President for Environment and External Affairs of THPAL Nickel Corporation told the crowd during the 18th Caraga Business Conference on June 13 that their company was all set to start operations this year and is spending two billion pesos per year as part of the operations cost of all the pollution control facilities.

“The company will spend that much per year to mitigate the environmental impact,” he said.

He said this includes the maintenance and operation of their tailings storage  and scrubber facilities.

Manto said  the Taganito project is the biggest mining investment in the country so far at 1.5 billion dollars.

He said at least 2,350 workers will be employed once the company starts commercial production in September.

He said, skilled workers from Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, a sister company of THPAL based in Palawan are conducting the training  of  locally-sourced workers for them learn the skill needed once the company will start its full operation.

Manto said the lifespan of THPAL is 30 years.

He added that the company will produce at least 30,000 metric tons of nickel sulfide and 2600 metric tons of cobalt sulfide from 4.8 million weight metric tons of waste ore per year.

Manto said these nickel and cobalt sulfides will be sent to Japan for another refinery process.

The mine waste which is composed of limonite ore from Taganito Mining Corporation in Claver will be used by THPAL, Manto explained.

“This mine waste from the nickel mining operation which has no value, will be bought for 15 to 20 US dollars per metric ton,” he said adding this would translate into additional jobs.

Aside from mine waste, low grade ore will also be used for the production, he said.  (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)