M/V He Sheng Nan Fang. (File photo)

Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC), a subsidiary of Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), recently shipped 54,700 wet metric tons (WMT) of medium-grade nickel ore to China.

The inaugural shipment from its mine site in Brooke’s Point in Southern Palawan happened on September 20, the company announced in a statement.

They were loaded onto the M/V He Sheng Nan Fang, which set sail for Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co., Ltd (GCTN) in China.

The INC said GCTN, a longtime client of FNI’s Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC) in Surigao, anticipates establishing a solid relationship with them.

“After years of careful planning and regulatory compliance, this inaugural shipment is a remarkable milestone for our Group and bodes well for the country’s economic and social governance goals at this critical time. Target for the year is 500,000 WMT, with increased production in the coming years, as we begin year-round operations,” FNI Chairman Joseph C. Sy. was quoted in the statement.

INC is permitted by its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) with the government to engage in the exploration, development, and commercial utilization of nickel and other mineral deposits in a 2,835-hectare area in Brooke’s Point.

The site has an estimated mine life of 10 years and produces 1.5 million WMT of medium- to high-grade nickel ores annually, and employing over 1,300 individuals, primarily from the local community and surrounding areas.

“We are proud of this development because it sets the tone for the optimal pursuit of our social development and environmental protection objectives. INC can now roll up the score in community engagement with various socio-civic initiatives in place from the beginning of our operations,” added Mr. Sy.

According to Sy, these include support for education, wellness, and livelihood development through scholarship grants, donation of school supplies, rice harvesters, fishing boats and implements, a brand new ambulance, medicines and other health essentials, construction of covered courts, daycare center, and health facility, allowances for teachers, barangay health workers and a community doctors, feeding programs, medical missions, livestock and rice farming assistance, and installation of solar dryers.

INC has also tagged infrastructure as its primary focus with the establishment of a mini-hydro power plant and farm-to-market roads.

During calamities, the INC said it came in as one of the first responders, allotting over P2 million worth of food and water supplies to those affected by Typhoon Odette and P12 million more in medical equipment and sacks of rice at the height of the pandemic.

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