DMCI Mining Corp. recorded a 409% increase in its net income for the first half to P1.2 billion from P241 million on the back of stronger revenues and higher shipments.

Its parent firm, DMCI Holdings, Inc., said in a stock exchange disclosure on Tuesday that the mining unit was able to ship 1.24 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore for the January-to-June period, up 45% from the 853,000 WMT shipped a year ago.

From the total, 718,000 WMT were contributed by Berong Nickel Corp., while 522,000 WMT were shipped by Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

Due to higher shipments, DMCI Mining’s revenues for the first half rose 123% to P2.7 billion from P1.2 billion the previous year.

“This is the first time that both our mining assets are operating at full capacity. We expect shipments to remain strong in the second half since we were able to extend Berong’s mine life from June until third quarter this year,” DMCI Mining President Tulsi Das C. Reyes said in the disclosure.

According to DMCI Mining, the average nickel grade of its shipped nickel was at 1.39% while the average selling price per metric ton rose 57% to $44 due to the surging stainless production in China, higher demand for electric vehicles, and the ongoing Indonesian nickel ore export ban.

“Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking, but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EV). The International Energy Agency estimates that global EVs will grow 14 times to 145 million by 2030,” the company said.

Moving forward, Mr. Reyes said the uptrend in nickel prices is likely to continue in the following months due to production-consumption gaps.

“Major nickel producers are seeing lower output because of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns and various operating issues but industrial manufacturing is still ramping up,” Mr. Reyes said.

Parent firm DMCI Holdings recorded a P5.23-billion attributable net income in the second quarter, surging from P1.42 billion a year ago. Its revenues for the quarter reached P29.76 billion, more than twice the P11.75 billion it reported in 2020.

On Tuesday, shares of DMCI Holdings rose 0.67% or four centavos to end at P6.03 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave