TKC Metals Corp. incurred P49.68 million in first-quarter net loss attributable to parent equity holders, wider by 41.8% compared with the P35.04 million recorded a year earlier.

The negative bottom line comes despite gross revenues improving by 66.4% to P195.23 million from P117.34 million, driven by higher nominal sales value generated by the operations of its subsidiary,  Zhangzhou Stronghold Steel Works Co. Ltd. (ZZS).

TKC’s two main subsidiaries are Treasure Steelworks Corp. (TSC) and ZZS. TSC manufactures steel billets used as raw materials for downstream steel products such as bars, wire rods, and sections. ZZS makes various types of steel pipes and distributes its products in China and other export markets.

“ZZS is still operating, however, the overall market conditions is still unfavorable coupled with a very volatile steel prices in China due to higher steel supply and the long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the firm said in a disclosure.

TKC said that ZZS is in talks for a partnership for the necessary working capital and machinery for the fabrication, coating, and galvanizing facilities that will add more value to its existing facilities. 

The subsidiary will also develop land to build its own port or berth to service the housing requirements of heavy industrial structures.

In 2013, TSC suspended its plant operations in Iligan City and terminated its contract with plant employees due to a shortage in power supply in Mindanao.

“TSC, however, is planning to produce nickel concentrate and nickel pig iron instead to lessen the plant’s power supply requirement. By shifting to nickel concentrate and nickel pig iron, the power supply requirement will drop to 5 megawatts per hour (MWPH) as compared to producing steel billets at 15 to 20 MWPH,” the company said.

The firm has almost completed the refurbishment and upgrade of the billet manufacturing plant and the installation of the iron ore beneficiation plant, the sintering plant, and the first blast furnace plant.

TSC will also be looking into new technology for nickel leaching, which is a chemical process that will take only two hours to extract nickel from laterite ores and will result in a nickel recovery rate of 20-50%.

As of May 31, TKC shares remained unchanged at P0.77. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson