JGC Corp Complete Construction of $150m Nickel-Cobalt Processing Plant

JGC Corporation has successfully achieved on August 31, 2004 mechanical completion of a USD 150 million nickel-cobalt processing plant at Rio Tuba on Palawan Island, Philippines, for Coral Bay Nickel Corporation of Philippines, of which Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (SMM) is a major shareholder.

Following the award to JGC of this project on a lump-sum turnkey contract basis in August 2002, the company has carried out the design, procurement of equipment and materials, construction and water commissioning services. Mechanical completion of the plant was achieved 1.5 months ahead of the projected schedule.

JGC has utilized SNC Lavalin (Australia) through all of the project stages, principally to provide engineering and specialist support in connection with HPAL (high-pressure acid leaching).

The plant consists of the ore preparation circuit, HPAL, CCD (Counter Current decanter), neutralization, zinc extraction, mixed sulfide precipitation and filtration, tailings neutralization unit. Additionally, JGC constructed the extensive utilities and infrastructure facilities required, including receiving facilities at the pier, water intake dam, tailing dam, coal fired boiler and power house because the site is located inland in Palawan Island.

The plant processes a wide range of nickel/cobalt laterite ore types, specific to the Rio Tuba ore body, by the HPAL process and produces nickel/cobalt mixed sulfide (approximately 10,000 tons of nickel and 700 tons of cobalt per year), an intermediary product of nickel refining. HPAL is a revolutionary process recently improved by SMM enabling recovery of nickel from low-grade ores at low cost.

JGC has played a leading-edge role in the realization of this plant employing improved processes and incorporating a number of innovative technologies. Commissioning of the plant has successfully begun. Furthermore, the company has been awarded a five-year maintenance and technical services contract.

With its business domain expansion strategy in progress, JGC has positioned the non-ferrous refining and smelting sector as a key sector for its industrial projects. JGC has experience in constructing non-ferrous refineries and smelters; however, this is its first experience to construct a nickel-related processing plant. JGC will focus on acquiring additional projects in the non-ferrous refining and smelting sector on the basis of this significant experience.

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