Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. is a corporation listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (symbol: FNI). Our subsidiaries include Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC), Surigao Integrated Resources Corporation, PGMC-CNEP Shipping Services Corp., and PGMC International Limited.
In 2016, we celebrated the 10th year anniversary of Cagdianao Nickel Expansion Project, the nickel ore mining operations of our subsidiary PGMC with area covering 4,376 hectares.
We have come a long way since 2006. In less than a decade since our first commercial shipment in 2007, our Cagdianao mine has set the world record of shipping one of the largest annual production volumes of 6 million wet metric tons (WMT) from a single laterite mining project. We have become the second largest nickel ore exporter in the Philippines, accounting for 11% of the country’s nickel ore production in 2015, according to Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). Thus far, we have delivered an aggregate of over 37 million WMT of nickel ore to our customers.
We benefit from favorable geologic conditions at our Cagdianao Mine. Our lateritic nickel deposits are near-surface, blanket-like layered deposits with minimal overburden and generally five to 30 meters thick. This allows us to conduct simple surface mining using trucks and excavators without blasting, the use of chemicals or complex waste handling. Moreover, our nickel deposits are located in short hauling distance from our mining operations to our loading facilities which substantially contributes to our favorable cost position. Compared to other international mining companies such as those in New Caledonia, Russia and Canada, our mine site is closer to our end customers in China which minimizes the shipping costs for our customers and the related risks involved with long transit.
China is the largest consumer of nickel in the world, representing 50% of the total world production. It has been in structural deficit for refined nickel since 2012. Yet it continues to drive expectations of high future demand due to strong growth in fixed assets investment in real estate, continued development of new energy vehicles and aggressive foreign infrastructure investments.
Our customers in China spans large and well-established stainless steel producers to international trading companies and all the way to independent ferronickel smelters. Our highly flexible ore supply gives us a natural competitive advantage to serve the needs of our customers, many of whom require a range of nickel grades and iron contents in their specific products.
As at 30 June 2016, our mineral resources (measured and indicated) were estimated at 50.3 million dry metric tons (DMT) from deposit areas in Cagdianao 1 to 5. Moreover, based on our recent phased exploration, a total of 18.1 million DMT of new inferred resources have been identified including medium and high grade nickel ore (saprolite). With additional drilling, our mineral resources and reserves will increase over time in line with our continuous exploration program.
To accelerate our progress on scale and growth, we have acquired the right to explore an additional 843-hectare land that is adjacent to our existing mine. This acquisition presents an opportunity to enhance our resources without requiring significant expenditures for mine infrastructure development. We are also focused on continuing to pursue our Palawan mine project whose mining season complements that of the Cagdianao mine, ultimately providing us with a steady supply of nickel ore all year around.