RESOURCE Mining Corporation Limited (RMC) has received a two year extension from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) for its minerals exploration lease EL-1165 which contains the undeveloped Wowo Gap nickel-cobalt project.

Like many in the nickel exploration space, RMC has been hampered in its activities by low nickel prices and the difficulty in raising capital in a tight equity market.

However, the company was successful in securing additional funding from its largest shareholder, Sinom (Hong Kong) Limited for an amount of up to A$500,000 for general working capital purposes as an interest free and unsecured loan.

While this funding has enabled the company to press ahead with its successful application for the EL-1165 extension, RMC remains restricted in its capacity to undertake ongoing exploration at Wowo Gap.

This led to the company focusing its efforts in the last quarter on the preservation of the Wowo Gap project through the continuation of limited site activities to secure and preserve the Project tenements and tangible assets.

RMC said the project site continues to be managed and operated by locally based personnel including supervisors as well as general hands. Recent work has been focussed on facilities and equipment maintenance including a full examination, audit preventative maintenance of all the company’s site equipment including drills etc.

Opportunities were also taken to modify site operating procedures, redefining of tasks and personnel and training regimes.

RMC said these activities have resulted in improved efficiencies as well as identification of tasks for future multi-skill training.

The Wowo Gap project is located 200 kilometres east of Port Moresby and approximately 35 kilometres from the town of Wanigela situated on Collingwood Bay.

The Project hosts significant nickel-cobalt mineralisation within the laterite profile overlying an ultramafic plateau.

Exploration results to date have been used to estimate a total Mineral Resource of 125 million tonnes grading 1.06 per cent Nickel (Ni) and 0.07 per cent Cobalt (Co).

Like many in the nickel space, RMC – and its 100%-owned subsidiary Niugini Nickel Limited which operates the Wowo Gap EL, are closely watching developments in leading nickel exporting nation the Philippines where a new Mining Minister has already shut down two nickel projects and is threatening to close others as she throws that country’s mining sector into chaos.

There is an expectation that further Philippine shut downs may lead to a sudden shortfall in global nickel production and a spike in nickel demand and prices.