DMCI Mining to double nickel ore production
MANILA -The mining arm of conglomerate DMCI Holdings expects to double its nickel ore production and improve its shipment volume this year after obtaining government clearance to boost stockpile at its Zambales mine.
DMCI Mining Corp. targets to ship out 1.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore this 2023 after its subsidiary, Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC), was granted an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to produce 2 million WMT of nickel ore.
Prior to the ECC issuance last January, ZDMC was only allowed to extract 1 million WMT.
“We have the necessary facilities and mitigating measures to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment. With these in place, we’re targeting to produce anywhere between 1.7 million to 2 million tons of nickel ore this year,” DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said in a statement disclosed by DMCI Holdings to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Last year, DMCI Mining produced only 1.03 million WMT of nickel ore, down by 42 percent from 1.79 million WMT in 2021 due to the depletion of its Berong mine.
Meanwhile, the shipment volume targeted by DMCI Mining this year marked an increase of 3.45 percent from the 1.45 million WMT of nickel ore exported last year. The company’s nickel ore exports go primarily to China.
In the first quarter, ZDMC’s nickel ore production surged by 88 percent to 599,000 WMT, its highest-ever quarterly output, from 318,000 WMT last year. This led to a 16-percent improvement in total inventory to 178,000 WMT.
However, total shipment declined by 21 percent from 620,000 WMT to 487,000 WMT, owing to the depletion of the Berong mine and stockpile. This was cushioned by the double-digit growth of ZDMC shipments.
Average selling price increased by 11 percent from $44 to $49 per WMT owing to higher Zambales shipments of higher-grade nickel ore.
Nickel prices have declined by 15 percent since the beginning of this year at the London Metal Exchange. However, DMCI Mining’s long-term outlook remains positive, banking on demand from the booming global electric vehicle industry as well as energy transition initiatives.
DMCI Mining’s first quarter standalone revenues declined by 8 percent to P1.3 billion while reported net income contracted by 15 percent to P463 million. INQ
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