2 nickel firms voluntarily suspend operations
Listed firms Nickel Asia Corp. and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. have voluntarily suspended their operations amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.
In a disclosure to the local bourse, Nickel Asia said its subsidiaries Taganito Mining Corp. and Hinatuan Mining Corp., both in Surigao del Norte, voluntarily suspended their mining and export operations today, April 9.
The suspension of mining and export operations will be until April 30 or until the end of the extended enhanced community quarantine.
The firm’s decision was made in response to the plea of the local provincial and municipal governments to defer their operations to prevent an increased risk of entry and transmission of the COVID-19 in the province and the municipalities.
Taganito, however, will continue to transport and deliver its existing limonite stockpiles to its mineral processing plant located adjacent to its mine site during the suspension of operations to reduce environmental risks.
During the temporary suspension, both subsidiaries shall maintain a skeleton workforce to protect, maintain and secure premises and assets, and continue to enforce the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees.
Nickel Asia’s other mining subsidiaries, Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., which operates in Palawan, and Cagdianao Mining Corp., which operates in Dinagat Islands, remain operational, while observing health and safety protocols.
In another regulatory filing, FNI said it would also suspend its operations in its Cagdianao site effective immediately.
“We comply with all rules and regulations, and as a good neighbor, we listen to the concerns of the local community,” FNI president Dante Bravo said.
In the meantime, FNI will maintain a skeleton workforce for its site maintenance and relief operations.
FNI has initially earmarked P10 million for the procurement, re-packing, and distribution of relief assistance to 14 barangays of the municipality of Claver.
To date, the company has distributed relief goods, disinfectants, face masks, meals, and other essential items to 10,995 individuals. The distribution to another 65,000 individual beneficiaries is underway.