LISTED conglomerate DMCI Holdings, Inc. said it is exploring new copper, gold, and coal assets to boost its mining business.

“We’re currently looking at large mining assets, probably copper and gold, and maybe an additional coal mine in Mindanao, if possible, provided that it is open pit,” DMCI Chairman and President Isidro A. Consunji said during the company’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

“Aside from that, we just intend to continue with our aggressive organic growth,” he added.

DMCI has presence in the mining sector through its subsidiary DMCI Mining Corp., which operates open-pit mines in Palawan and Zambales via units Berong Nickel Corp. and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. The companies extract nickel ore, chromite, and iron laterite using surface mining techniques.

The conglomerate is also engaged in coal mining through Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC).

According to Mr. Consunji, one of the challenges faced by DMCI is securing permits for its nickel projects.

“Right now, we have various nickel assets that are not being operational, waiting for the perfection of the required operational licenses and permits. A lot of these projects are expected to be completed before the end of this year,” he said.

“Hopefully, two areas in particular, one in Zambales and one in Long Point, Palawan should be operational before the end of this year,” he added.

Mr. Consunji also said the sales of the conglomerate’s real estate unit, DMCI Homes, are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025.

He noted that DMCI Homes has some excess supply of finished units that are currently being sold.

 “At the moment, DMCI (Homes) sales are slightly below pre-pandemic level. But we expect by 2025 with the leisure projects and other upper and lower market segments, DMCI Homes will exceed pre-pandemic levels of sales,” he said.

 Mr. Consunji added that DMCI is focused on participating in the government’s infrastructure projects.

 “We expect DMCI to be in a strong competitive position to compete in these mega infrastructure projects. We see no reason why it cannot be competitive, given our track records in developing previous mega infrastructure projects.”

 On the recent acquisition of Cemex Holdings Philippines, Inc. (CHP), Mr. Consunji said that this will create synergy with the conglomerate’s other businesses.  

 DMCI, SMPC, and Dacon Corp. recently announced the acquisition of CHP for $305.6 million under a share purchase agreement. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2024.

 DMCI bought the entire shares of Cemex Asia B.V. in Cemex Asian South East Corp. (CASEC), the majority owner of CHP with an 89.96% equity interest. Dacon has been appointed as the bidder for the mandatory tender offer to acquire the remaining 10.14% of the total issued and outstanding capital stock of CHP.

 Under the transaction, DMCI is set to acquire a 56.75% stake in CASEC, Dacon will secure 32.12%, and SMPC will purchase the remaining 11.13%.

 On Tuesday, DMCI stocks improved by 0.75% or eight centavos to P10.78 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave