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DMCI Mining aims to ship 1.5M WMT nickel ore

DMCI Mining Corp. on Wednesday said that it is targeting to ship 1.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore this year after its unit secured an environmental compliance certificate.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, its parent company DMCI Holdings, Inc. said the unit Zambales Diversified Metal Corp. (ZDMC) had been permitted in January to produce two million WMT of nickel ore from the previously allowed one million WMT.

“We have the necessary facilities and mitigating measures to minimize the impact of 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,” said DMCI Mining President Tulsi Das C. Reyes.

In the three months to March, ZDMC nickel ore output reached 599,000 WMT, up 88% from 318,000 WMT previously.

According to the company, the growth led to a 16% increase in its total inventory to 178,000 WMT from 154,000 WMT.

“However, total shipment declined by 21% from 620,000 WMT to 487,000 WMT owing to the depletion of the BNC mine and stockpile, cushioned by the double-digit growth of ZDMC shipment,” the disclosure read.

Meanwhile, total shipment dropped by 21% to 487,000 WMT from 620,000 WMT, dragged by the depletion of the mine and stockpile of its subsidiary Berong Nickel Corp.

The decline was offset by the double-digit growth of ZDMC’s shipments. The average selling price increased by 11% to $49 from $44 backed by higher shipments of higher-grade nickel ore from the ZDMC mine.

“Despite the mine and stockpile depletion of Berong, DMCI Mining standalone revenues narrowly declined 8% from P1.4 billion to P1.3 billion due to better selling prices while reported income contracted by 15% from P543 million to P463 million,” DMCI Holdings said.

In the first quarter, DMCI Mining saw its core net income decrease by 5% to P473 million from P499 million, which was attributed to the “combined effect of lower shipments and better selling prices.”

Revenues during the quarter reached P1.31 billion, 8% lower than the P1.42 billion reported previously.

In its information statement, DMCI Holdings said its mining subsidiary last year shipped 1.449 million WMT, down 26% from 1.945 million in 2021. It also said total production declined by 42% to 1.031 million WMT from 1.788 million WMT after the depletion of its Palawan mine in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, ZDMC’s production last year grew to around 1 million WMT from 934,000 WMT previously. Its output last year was the maximum allowable production volume under its environmental compliance certificate. In turn, shipments from Zambales increased 22% to 1.088 WMT from 894,000 WMT. 

Last year, DMCI Mining recorded a 7% increase in its core net income to P1.29 billion, which it attributed to improved selling prices and favorable foreign exchange rates.

In 2022, the average selling price rose by 14% to $48 per WMT from $42 per WMT. Foreign exchange rates were also favorable last year at an average of P54 per US dollar from P49 a dollar previously amid currency market volatility.

DMCI Mining is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consunji-led DMCI Holdings, which has business interests in general construction, coal and nickel mining, power generation, real estate development, water concession, and manufacturing.

On Wednesday, DMCI Holdings’ shares were up by P0.13 or 1.35% to close at P9.75 apiece. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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