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Nickel Asia posts 11.8% drop in H1 shipments

said July 15that its four operating mines in the Philippines shipped 8.54 million wettonnes of nickel ore in the first half, about 11.8% lower than the 9.68 millionwet tonnes shipped inthe same period of 2015.

The minerattributed the period's lower shipment volumes to the delayed start ofshipments from its Hinatuan and Cagdianao mines, caused by the prolonged rainy season,and the temporary reduction in limonite ore deliveries to its Taganito high-pressureacid leach plant.

NickelAsia's Taganitomine contributed the most to the company's first half shipments, accounting for41% of the total figures, while 37% came from the operations.

Theestimated realized nickel price during the period also fell to US$18.51 per wettonne of nickel ore from US$23.20 per wet tonne a year ago.

With thedrop in shipments and lower prices, Nickel Asia estimates that the value of itsfirst half shipments fell to 5.15 billion Philippine pesos from 7.48 billionpesos in the first half of 2015.

Accordingto Nickel Asia President and CEO Gerard Brimo, the company looks forward to itspeak shipment season in the second half as the nickel prices improve and supplystarts contracting on the back of supply cuts, depleting inventories andincreased stainless steel production.

As of July 18, US$1 was equivalent to 46.77Philippine pesos.