Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nickel, cobalt price lifts Highlands Pacific performance

HIGHLANDS Pacific recorded a strong result during the final quarter of last year, attributing it to the record production at the Ramu nickel/cobalt mine in Madang, Papua New Guinea.
It said the rapidly rising cobalt and nickel prices also contributed to the strong result.
Highlands Pacific noted that Ramu produced 9160 tonnes of nickel and 877 tonnes of cobalt in the December quarter.
It took the annual production of nickel in concentrate to a record 34,666 tonnes, which was up 56 per cent on the previous year, and exceeded nameplate production capacity of 32,600 tonnes.
Annual cobalt production was 3308 tonnes, up more than 51 per cent compared to the prior year.
The company in a statement said the excellent production performance was achieved as nickel and cobalt prices were rising strongly, fuelled by increasing demand from emerging battery technologies.
Highlands Pacific holds an
8.56 per cent interest in the Ramu project. It generated net cash inflows of US$49 million (K154.89mil) for the December quarter, after capital expenditure of US$7 million (K22.12mil). For the full year, net cash inflow was a strong US$170 million (K537.37mil), after capital expenditure of US$17 million (K53.73mil).
Highlands Pacific managing director Craig Lennon said he was delighted.
“Ramu is now performing exceptionally well, confirming that it is one of the true success stories of PNG’s mining industry,” Lennon said. “We have been involved with the development of the project for many years, and our commitment and perseverance are now delivering results.
“The operation is achieving consistent production records just as cobalt prices surge to record levels, and as nickel continues to show a solid upward trend, buoyed by demand for battery metals.
“We continue to see a very strong future for the project, and we hold an entitlement to increase out interest in the project to 20.55 per cent, which gives our shareholders a great option on the future for nickel and cobalt.”

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