Since the earthquake followed by tsunami hit Pacific Metals Co. Ltd’s (PAMCO) Hachinohe Plant in Japan last March 11, the plant has stopped operations due to power blackout and damages to the facilities. There we no human casualties. PAMCO is a 2.8% shareholder in Nickel Asia Corp. (PSE: NIKL). It also holds a 36% stake in Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. (RTN) and 33.5% in Taganito Mining Co. (TMC)—both being subsidiaries of Nickel Asia. PAMCO is also a key customer of the company and has been purchasing its saprolite nickel ore for over 30 years under long-term supply contracts.
PAMCO is conducting a survey of the plant to determine the extent of any damage and to rehabilitate as soon as possible, for the resumption of its operations. The company will release more information regarding the schedule for resuming operations and the impact to its business performance after it has finished its initial assessment on the damages.
Nickel Asia, meanwhile, noted that it will continue to closely monitor the situation at PAMCO’s Hachinohe plant. If it is determined that PAMCO’s plant cannot resume operations in a timely manner, Nickel Asia will pursue other outlets for the sale of its saprolite nickel ore, which is in high demand from other customers. As such, the company believes that shipments for the current year will not be materially affected.