HIGHLANDS Pacific Ltd (HPL) remains in a financially robust position with US$23.5 million (K62.8 million) in buffer cash and no debts, managing director John Gooding said.
The miner is interested in two world scale projects and continues to stay committed to developing projects within the Australasia-Pacific region.
The company’s third quarterly report ending Sept 30 revealed that construction of the Ramu Nickel project in Madang province, was nearing completion with commissioning scheduled this year end.
Meanwhile, at the Frieda River copper gold project, five rigs are on site doing resource drilling.
HPL holds 8.56% interest in Ramu Nickel project and 16.4% at Frieda River in Sandaun province.
Mr Gooding said work on pre-feasibility study was also progressing well and the throughput options of 50 metric tonne per annuam (mtpa) now being considered firmly placed the company as one of the world’s top 10 emerging open-pit copper projects.
Apart from that, exploration programme on the Nong River and Tifalmin explocation licences was “a further exciting development” with drilling anticipated next year to follow up good intersections obtained by Kennecott in the early 1970s.
“With the construction of the Ramu project nearing completion, focus is very much turning towards a staged commissioning.
“While some sections have already begun commissioning, the key items would take place over the next six months and would be an exciting time for the project,” Mr Gooding.
He said that at Frieda River, the very encouraging resource drilling results during the past 12 months pointed to a significant resource update due next month.
This would dove-tail with the technical and community work currently being undertaken and would culminate in the finalisation of the pre-feasibility study in mid 2010, Mr Gooding said.
The Ramu nickel project is fully-funded and construction is on schedule and on budget of US$1.4 billion (K3.7 billion).