Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., the largest shareholder in San Miguel Corp., plans to start the construction of a $1.5-billion nickel processing plant in 2018.
Top Frontier and San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the feasibility study for the proposed 200,000-metric-ton nickel processing plant near Nonoc mine in Surigao del Norte province would be completed before the end of the year.
“We are now finalizing the feasibility study of the project then the technical and financial study. If the results are positive we will the go for financing and probably start construction by next year,” Ang said.
Top Frontier, through mining unit Clariden Holdings Inc., holds several mining tenements in various areas including Nonoc Nickel Project and Mt. Cadig Nickel Project. It also owns exploration permits for certain areas under the Bango Gold Project, and has pending applications and production sharing agreement for other areas.
Meanwhile, San Miguel is now plotting its third phase of diversification that will involve electronics manufacturing and clean energy.
Ang said the company was studying plans to venture into electronics manufacturing, which he described as one business that could deliver high margins. “We are now studying how to go to electronic microchips. That is our aspiration,” Ang said.
“We are going to that direction…The third wave of diversification is to go the next generation which is electronics,” Ang said.
“Can you imagine if we can go to the next generation? If we can produce like microchips, plug-ins, smart telephones, tablets, and smart television? That is where we are going,” Ang said.
Ang said San Miguel was also interested in clean energy including hydro, solar and tidal energy sources. San Miguel currently operates several coal energy plants.
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