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Nickel Asia income climbs 52%

NICKEL ASIA Corp. posted an attributable net income of P4.07 billion for 2020 or a 51.9% increase year on year due to higher ore export prices.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the listed company said its total revenues rose 21.5% to P21.77 billion from P17.92 billion in 2019.

“The significant improvement in the realized nickel price of the combined ore exports and ore deliveries to the two plants in 2020 more than offset the slight decline in sales volume and the less favorable (Philippine) Peso to United States Dollar exchange rate,” Nickel Asia said in the disclosure.

Nickel Asia disclosed that it exported 10 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore in 2020, a 3.9% decline from 10.4 million WMT the year earlier.

Despite the lower ore exports, the export prices rose 45% year on year to $33.99 per WMT in 2020.

Further, Nickel Asia said ore deliveries to the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp. (THPAL) and Coral Bay Nickel Corp. (CNBC) HPAL plants dropped 2.4% to 8.2 million WMT for 2020, with an average price of $6.22 per pound of payable nickel.

“On a combined basis, the company sold a total of 18.2 million WMT at $22.46 per WMT and 18.8 million WMT at $16.69 per WMT in 2020 and 2019, respectively,” Nickel Asia said.

According to the company, the total operating cash costs for 2020 improved 1% year on year to P10.68 billion. It added that the realized Philippine Peso to United States Dollar exchange rate for ore sales in 2020 fell 5% to P49.15, against P51.72 the previous year.

Martin Antonio G. Zamora, Nickel Asia President and Chief Executive Officer, said the demand for nickel ore did not falter amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As Indonesia resumed its ban on direct export of nickel ore at the start of 2020, we realized higher prices for our ore exports,” Mr. Zamora said in the statement.

“In spite of every consequence the global standstill brought, we took care of our people, we focused on our communities, and Nickel Asia survived 2020,” he added.

On Thursday, stocks of Nickel Asia at the stock exchange rose 7.21% or 0.37 centavos to end at P5.50 apiece.

CARMEN COPPER CORP. RESUMES OPERATIONS
In a separate disclosure on Thursday, Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. announced that its Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC) has received approval from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to restart mining operations in the Carmen Pit.

However, CCC said the approval does not allow the resumption of work at the parts affected by the slide that occurred on Dec. 21 last year.

CCC said it will continue to implement safety measures in the rehabilitation of impacted areas at the pit and is working closely with different regulating agencies and local government units in addressing the ongoing rehabilitation initiatives.

In December, the operations of CCC were suspended after a slide occurred at its mining site in Toledo City, Cebu due to rains aggravated by Typhoon Vicky. The incident killed at least four people.

On Thursday, stocks of Atlas Mining at the stock exchange rose 2.22% or 14 centavos to end at P6.46 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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