We are the Philippines’ largest producer of lateritic ore, and one of the largest in the world. Forty years ago, our first operation in Rio Tuba made its first ore shipment to Japan. Today, with four operating mines, we have sold over 120 million WMT to our customers.
We export saprolite and limonite ore to our customers in China and Japan, who process them into ferronickel and nickel pig iron (NPI), used for the production of stainless steel. Locally, two of our mines sell limonite ore to downstream processing plant affiliates, who produce an intermediate product for further processing in Japan into refined metal and a product for batteries for the electric vehicle market.
Our Rio Tuba operation in Bataraza, Palawan is the exclusive supplier of limonite ore to Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), the Philippines’ first hydrometallurgical nickel processing plant. Commissioned in 2005, CBNC has a capacity of 24,000 tons of contained nickel and 1,500 tons of contained cobalt per year in the form of a mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide. We have a 10% equity interest in CBNC. Our Taganito operation in Claver, Surigao del Norte, is also the exclusive supplier of limonite ore to Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL), the Philippines’ second hydrometallurgical nickel processing plant. Built at a cost of USD 1.7 billion and commissioned in 2013, it has an expanded capacity of 36,000 tons of contained nickel and 3,000 tons of contained cobalt per year. We also have a 10% equity interest in THPAL. Hinatuan Mining in Taganaan, Surigao del Norte and Cagdianao Mining in Valencia, Dinagat Islands, are our two other nickel operations. In 2015 we acquired a 5th operation, Geogen Corporation, now renamed Dinapigue Mining Corporation, which is undergoing further exploration and development in order to meet our production standards. We have other properties in various stages of exploration for nickel, and continue to seek opportunities in copper and gold.
Beyond our mineral resource operations, we have diversified into renewable energy through Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), which operates a 32 MW solar plant in the Subic Bay Freeport and has geothermal service contracts in the province of Mindoro and Biliran. We have an 86.29% equity interest in EPI. We remain focused on growth as we take our responsibilities to our communities and to the country very seriously. At the heart of this sense of responsibility is our commitment to operate in a sustainable manner, nurturing active communities, protecting the environment and ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone our operations touch. Our efforts to remain faithful to the principles of sustainable development in all our operations have not gone unnoticed, as we have received numerous awards and recognition. We are particularly pleased that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources chose our Rio Tuba operation to represent the country in the first ever ASEAN Mineral Awards in the category of Best Practices in Sustainable Mineral Development. We take pride as a Philippine company in having been declared the winner in the Mineral Mining category at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals in Myanmar in November 2017.
Looking to the future, we seek to be better in all that we do.