TMM MANAGEMENT INC
TMM manages the strategic technical and financial aspects of mineral exploration, development, operations, production, processing, and promotion in three nickel laterite projects located in the Province of Palawan, Republic of the Philippines. Total investment in TMM as of March 2009 amounts to P7.8Million pesos. The principal agency regulating the company’s activities is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Mines and Geosciences Bureau. TMM manages the mining and exploration activities of Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) in the municipalities of Quezon and Aborlan; Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) in Brooke’s Point, and Ulugan Nickel Corporation (UNC) inPuerto Princesa City
Mining Engineers, Geologists, and Accountants ably supported by specially- trained GIS (Mapinfo/ Autocad) Specialists, IT, Technical, and Administrative Staff using advanced Information and Communications technologies.
TMM and its affiliate companies utilizes GEMCOM Mining Software with the specialized “Unwrinkle” Module for layered deposits especially Nickel Laterites, and the Whittle Mine Optimization Module to maximize value. TMM extensively uses the internet including VOIP and wireless communications to link to mobile personnel in its project sites. TMM also utilizes MYOB accounting for its intercompany transactions.
TMM has largely automated its data capture from public and proprietary sources for continually updated atmospheric and marine weather data much needed for its affiliated companies’ field operations.
TMM has instituted a rigorous Quality Control/ Quality Assurance Programme to ensure accurate and precise data from samples and field measurements, as well as cutting-edge analytical instrumentation utilizing X-Ray Flourescence (XRF) to attain reliable data for fast turnaround and cost effectivity.
TMM and its affiliate companies are preparing for its eventual ISO 14001 and 18001 certifications. TMM also adheres to best practices, especially in Health, Safety, and Environment, and works in close partnership with host local communities, indigenous peoples, government, academe, and people’s organizations for an informed, harmonious joint development of the country’s nickel resources.
Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) was established in 2005 to explore, develop, mine, and rehabilitate, produce, process the nickel laterite resources within its tenement areas. TMC has a 21.3% interest in BNC while European Nickel plc (UK) has an 18.7% stake with ACMDC as the ultimate parent company.
Previous reports indicate a pre-JORC inferred resource of 275 million tonnes at 1.3% Ni at 0.9%Ni cutoff which include the Berong Mine, Morsoom, Long Point and Ulugan collectively covering 27,498.284.
In 2007, BNC signed a n agreement with Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd, a BHP company, to supply up to 500,000 wet metric tonnes of nickel ore per year to the Yabulu nickel refinery in Australia.
Major facilities of the mine include: a well-maintained 2-lane, 10km private road (Sorex Road) including a 2-lane, 7- km barangay road, and bridge. Roads and infrastructure investment amount to over P333million.
Production facilities include a 11-hectare area for 10 grade- and matrix-matched stockpiles, zero release, 50year rainfall return period water management system with crushing plant capable of 500,000 wmt as ore inventory; wash down areas; a 125m causeway, and a 100% hydrographically-surveyed offshore area meeting IMO standards with buoy-delineated approach channel and anchorage area.
The mine has a 40million liter, 3-stage retention ponds and water management system designed to release water for irrigation. Also present is a drying pad, including a water truck refilling station. Gabions, geotextile-lined sediment control structures are also used.
There is a 600-sample per day XRF lab for fused bead and pressed powder samples for accurate and rapid turnaround of exploration and mine samples including thermostat-controlled ovens, crushers, pulverizers with recirculating pucks, 6-place fusion furnace, hydraulic presses, digital microbalances, and continually calibrated Energy-dispersive XRF machines including a handheld version for simultaneous, rapid and accurate multielement determinations and stringent grade control.
The mine also has a workshop/ motorpool for a fleet of 28 trucks, 6 vans, 15 4wd pickups, 2 ambulances and 75,000 liter fuel tanks, redundant full duty and standby generators (120Kva); Technical, Administrative, Geology, HR, Community Relations, Safety, Security Offices with 24-hour security and perimeter fences.
There is accommodation for 100 staff; 24 hr clinic, gym, sports and recreation facilities, broadband, wifi internet access over a 500m radius, including VOIP via leased line, 2 satellite internet installations, a VHF radio network with repeater, satellite telephones, cellular phone coverage, and a 900m long airstrip.
There is a large research plot to determine appropriate species, topsoil, mulch for progressive rehabilitation; buffer zones; 2.5ha. nursery, environmental research office, reverse osmosis water supply to the local community; a community hanging bridge spanning the Berong River.
In 2008 BNC was the Recipient of Special Achievement Award by the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award Selection Committee for Research and Development Initiative on Mine Rehabilitation.
Exploration included 22,245 samples from 1549 test pits and 844 drillholes with over 95% recovery totaling 30,572.13 meters. Average thickness of limonite is 1.7m and 6.1m for saprolite.
A programme is underway to upgrade the resources towards the measured category and in compliance with the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC) and the de facto international standard Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) code.
Since January 2007, the mine has been able to send off 28 shipments of nickel laterite ore to Australia and to the Chinese market, totaling over 786,000 dry metric tonnes averaging 1.5%Ni.
Total revenues from 2007 and 2008 amount to almost 1.97 Billion Pesos, from a total investment of about 1.07 Billion pesos as of December 2008.
BNC has been registered with the Philippines’ Board of Investments in 2007 as a Non-Pioneering New Producer of Beneficiated Nickel Ore with VAT-exempt status, with 4-year Income Tax Holiday with bonus year up to 8 years; additional deductions in taxable income from direct labor, tax credits, export tax, duty, imposts, fees exemption for 10 years on (capital) equipment, spare parts, consumables and employment of foreign nationals up to 5 years.
Ipilan Nickel Corporation was established in 2005 to explore, develop, mine process the nickel laterite resources within Celestial Nickel Mining Exploration Corporation’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement MPSA014-93-IV granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resouces in 1993, encompassing 2835 hectares. Total investment as of EO2008 amount to almost P347Million.
84,412 samples from 5093 test pits and 3154 drillholes with over 96% recovery totaling 81,371.03 meters were obtained. Average thicknesses are for limonite, 4.6m; Earthy Saprolite, 4.5m; and Rocky Saprolite, 3m.
A PMRC/JORC-compliant estimate is to be released and already filed with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for validation, incorporating more detailed topographic data and accurate estimation methodology.
Acquisition of aerial photos and high precision and enhanced Landsat satellite imagery together with topographic surveys enabled the overlay of detailed cadastral land boundaries, recognition of land use/ land cover as of 2006 to plan possible candidate sites for a causeway, stockpile area, transport routes, mine facilities, mine haul roads.
Baseline environmental and socio-economic information also has been acquired over the tenement and adjoining sites. The Free and Prior informed consent, as well as endorsements at the barangay and municipal levels are in progress.
Ulugan Nickel Corporation, also established in 2005, have similar purposes as BNC, including exploring, developing, and mining ACMDC’s nickel laterite interests in EPAs IVB-01-058, -061 totalling 17,910.45 hectares in Puerto Princesa City. Limited exploration has been conducted due to priority work in BNC which is in the production stage and INC which has completed its exploration programme.