DMCI Holdings is taking full control of UK-listed mining firm ENK Plc, which is focused on developing the Acoje Nickel Project in Luzon. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, DMCI advised that it had acquired an additional 40% stake in ENK from D&A Income for GBP42.03 million.
DMCI will become the registered owner of 100% of the outstanding capital stock of ENK upon completion of the deal. D&A Income is the UK-based investment firm that helped DMCI gain a foothold in ENK in 2012. They formed a consortium to acquire the shares of the controlling stockholder and afterwards offered to acquire the remaining shares for cash.
In a separate transaction, DMCI’s mining unit DMCI Mining Corp later acquired a 31% stake in Nickeline Resources Holdings, joining the Berong Nickel Project in Palawan as a partner of Toledo Mining and Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp.
ENK’s principal property is the Acoje nickel laterite project, about 290km from Manila and covering about 3765 hectares. The deposit has a JORC-compliant inferred and indicated resource of 50.14 million tonnes @ 1.08% nickel and 0.05% cobalt. Drilling has recently been completed at Acoje and a new JORC resource statement is expected. A preliminary feasibility study has been completed and a bankable feasibility study is progressing.
In December 2011 ENK completed a bridging study which utilized heap leaching processing and tank leaching technology. The tank leach test work demonstrated the superior recoveries and economics of atmospheric tank leaching (ATL) compared to heap leaching. Recoveries of nickel and cobalt over a three stage leaching circuit averaged 92% and 97% respectively in a 22 hour leach period.
On the basis of the superior results ENK decided to only take the tank leaching option forward into the BFS. Importantly, an additional benefit of the ATL option is the ability for it to be staged. This allows significantly greater flexibility in financing options for the project as well as the earlier production of nickel.
ENK also owns 40% of the Zambales chromite deposit, 5km north of Acoje, which is being developed in partnership with local Philippine partner Montenima Resources Corp.
DMCI Mining Corp is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DMCI Holdings, the listed Philippine engineering-based conglomerate owned by the Consunji Family. DMCI Holdings has interests in mining, power, water, housing, general construction and engineering. DMCI Mining is the subsidiary in-charge of mining operations outside coal which is handled by its affiliate Semirara Mining Corp, another publicly-listed company owned by DMCI Holdings, with integrated business in coal mining and coal power generation.