Citinickel Bares Its Expansion Plans

Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Inc. (CMDC) is set to expand its nickel mining site in Palawan.

In a media tour of its Narra mining site in Southern Palawan recently, Citinickel through its resident manager, Jainal Uy said that the mining unit of Oriental Peninsula Resources Group, Inc. (ORE) is planning to develop its land area and purchase additional equipment to increase its laterite ore production by the end of the year.

"Our current production volume is at 10,000 wet metric tons (WMT) per day, that's about 1,000 trips a day," Uy said, adding "we intend to increase it by 13, 000 to 14,000 WMT."

He said they were able to produce two million WMT of nickel ore last year. "We will also add 10 hectares to our mine site," he added. Currently the mine's open areas measure 40 hectares.

Uy shared they will use P800 million - same as last year's budget - to achieve their goals. The mining company is still in the process of surveying the surrounding areas in line with the 10-year lifespan of the Narra site.

Citinickel started its commercial operations in 2011. It operates another nickel mining site in Sofronio Espanola, Palawan. Australia, China and Japan are the major countries where Citinickel ships its products.

Late November, silt-laden water leaked from Citinickel's Tailings Pond No. 2 affecting 70 farms in Barangay San Isidro, Narra and part of the nearby Pinagduguan River. Citinickel suspended all its mining operation from November 26 to December 9, 2012 to clean the affected areas.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) penalized Citinickel for the spill. In a press statement, Citinickel said it paid a total of "P46, 745 to six farmers whose farm lots were affected by the spill."

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