Recently there’s been some speculation that BHP Billiton – the world’s biggest mining company – may be about to exit from nickel production.
In 2008, it pulled out of the Gag Island project in West Papua. See: http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=8921.
The following year, the company also sold a major nickel refinery in Australia. See: http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9384.
Then, last month, BHP Billiton withdrew from a controversial nickel joint venture in the Philippines.
BHP Billiton quits Philippines mine after CAFOD campaign
BHP Billiton has pulled out of a nickel mining project in the Philippines following a campaign by CAFOD. BHP Billiton’s 40 percent stake in the US$22.7 billion project was sold to local joint-venture partner AMCOR (Asiaticus Management Corp), UCA News reports. “It looks like (AMCOR) will proceed with the nickel mine,” said CAFOD’s extractives policy analyst, Sonya Maldar. CAFOD is continuing its call for a new consent process before work starts on the mine at Macambol in Davao Oriental province. “Given the serious flaws in the official consent process, AMCOR and any future partners in the project cannot use this to push ahead with mining in the area,” Maldar said. “There must be a new consent process that is genuinely free and fair.”