Gooding: Ramu nickel project in full swing

Business, Normal

The National, Monday July 15th, 2013


THE Ramu nickel cobalt project is progressing through ramp up and is producing at a maximum rate of about 40%, Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding says.

He said the maximum rate or nameplate capacity of the Ramu NiCo project is 31,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,300 tonnes of cobalt contained in a hydroxide product.

Highlands Pacific holds multiple commodity assets in Papua New Guinea including the Frieda copper project and the Ramu nickel project.

If developed, Frieda will become PNG’s largest copper project where Highlands has a stake of 18.18%. 

Its partner is Xstrata, which free carried through Highlands for US$270 million (K598.67 million). 

The resource there is estimated to be around 2.8 billion tonnes for 13 million tonnes copper and 20 million ounces gold. 

Highlands Pacific also has an 8.56% interest in the US$1.5 billion (K3.3 billion) Ramu nickel cobalt project.

Gooding told The National in Port Moresby last week that “Frieda River work continues on the project … however, the new merged entity Glencore Xstrata has recently stated that they will not develop greenfields’ projects at present and are seeking interested parties for both the Frieda River project and the Tampakan project in the Philippines.

“At the Star Mountains project, some field work continue while drilling has ceased for a period, with expectations that the previous good results obtained in this new porphyry province would enable drilling to be recommenced in the future. 

“Unfortunately the resource markets are suffering at present and most mining and exploration organisations have to review how they are doing things.

“But the industry is cyclic and we shouldn’t forget that,” he added.