London-listed European Nickel (ENK.L) said on Friday it had invested $48 million in nickel- laterite projects in the Philippines.

In a statement, the firm said it had acquired a 19.3 percent interest in Toledo Mining Corp. (TMC.L) and a 18.7 percent direct interest in the Philippines' Berong Nickel Corp.

This transaction significantly expands European Nickel's strategic nickel-laterite interests in the Philippines with two large deposits, the company said.

European Nickel acquired a total of 5,691,019 shares in Toledo for 11.4 million pounds ($22.2 million). It also bought the interest in Berong Nickel Corp. for $24.4 million from Australia-based Investika (IVK.AX).

In addition, the firm acquired an 18.7 percent interest in China Nickel Corporation from Investika.

The Caldag project in Turkey remained a near-term priority, Managing Director Simon Purkiss said.

There was long-term growth potential of the Philippines, the firm said.

This acquisition is in line with our strategy to increase our critical mass, whilst further advancing our objective to become a mid-tier, low-cost nickel producer, Purkiss said.

The firm told Reuters in May that the Caldag project had been delayed by more than 12 months as it awaited a forestry permit.

(Reporting by Anna Stablum; Editing by Ben Tan)

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