TVI Pacific and its Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils) (TVIRD), announce that Agata Mining Ventures Inc (AMVI) has completed its third shipment of high-iron/low nickel direct shipping ore (DSO) produced from the Agata project located in northern Mindanao. AMVI is a joint venture between TVIRD and Mindoro Resources with the former holding a 60% interest and being the operator.
A total of 52,801 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of limonite high-iron/low nickel ore containing 0.81% nickel and 48.61% iron left the port of Payong-Payong in Agusan del Norte, Mindanao, on November 28, in accordance with an offtake arrangement between TVIRD and Tewoo Hoperay (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
AMVI expects to receive gross revenue of US$660,000 for the shipment (pending final assay and price adjustments). Remaining inventory to date at December 9 was approximately 50,713 wmt of limonite high-iron/low nickel ore with nickel and iron content levels of 0.8% and 49.1%, respectively.
“The Agata DSO operation continues to generate the revenues and cash flows that are an essential element to TVIRD’s efforts to secure a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2015,” says TVI Pacific’s chairman and CEO Clifford James, who is also chairman of TVIRD. “A listing on the PSE would put a tangible dollar value on TVI’s currently 30.66% investment in TVIRD, the achievement of which could substantially enhance its value for TVI shareholders.”
AMVI commenced loading of a fourth shipment of high-iron/low nickel DSO at the end of November. Due to an increase in rainfall for the period from November to March, AMVI expects shipments to take slightly longer to complete but is taking measures to upgrade its operations to improve operating efficiency in wet weather conditions.
AMVI also plans to mine higher grade saprolite ore (containing greater than 1.5% nickel) found in the deeper part of the nickel laterite ore body and make two separate 55,000 wmt shipments of this type of ore in the near term to secure higher selling prices. Following the shipment of the higher nickel grade saprolite ore, AMVI plans to mine and make separate shipments of both high and low grade saprolite and limonite ore in order to ensure that a blended higher selling price is obtained.
AMVI is planning to ramp up its nickel DSO operations from the previously stated annual goal of 2.5 million wmt to 5 million wmt by 2016 once it secures an amended and expanded Environmental Compliance Certificate and Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
By doubling initially planned production capacity, AMVI expects to achieve economies of scale that would significantly enhance operating margins. Once production has been fully ramped up, the resulting shipment schedule would be approximately one to three shipments of 55,000 wmt of DSO being dispatched every week.