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Philippines first quarter nickel ore output falls 27% year-on-year as most mines shut

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05/20/2020 | 11:54 pm

The Philippines said on Thursday its nickel ore output in the first quarter shrank 27% from a year earlier to 28,006 tonnes, as more than half of its 29 operating nickel mines reported zero production.

Just 11 of the Southeast Asian nation's nickel mines reported output in the March quarter, while 18 were either under care and maintenance programmes or did not operate due to unfavourable weather, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said.

The Philippines is poised to become the top supplier of nickel ore this year to China, where it is processed for use in making nickel pig iron, a key ingredient of stainless steel, after Indonesia stopped ore exports beginning January.

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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