DMCI Mining Corp. booked a loss of P110 million in the third quarter of 2018, given the absence of nickel shipments during the period.
In a statement issued Thursday, the mining unit of listed conglomerate DMCI Holdings, Inc. attributed the loss to the absence of revenues to cover operating expenses.
Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC) in Palawan failed to make any shipments due to poor weather conditions, while Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) has yet to secure approval to continue operations.
Hindi maganda ang market ng nickel. In the coming year, not changing much,” DMCI Mining President Cesar F. Simbulan, Jr. said in a press briefing last Nov. 12.
Despite the lack of activity in the third quarter, nickel shipments for the January to September period went up by one percent to 482,762 wet metric tons (WMT), versus 476,155 WMT in the same period a year ago.
Of this, about 430,000 WMT came from BNC’s old stockpile, while the remaining balance were sourced from ZDMC’s inventory.
Mr. Simbulan said they are working on one more shipment before yearend.
DMCI Mining’s revenues rose 40% to P978 million in the first nine months of 2018, since most of the shipments were of higher grade-ore, translating to higher nickel prices. The company’s net income accordingly rose 94% to P206 million in the same period.
“We hope to ship more in the coming months using old and new inventory. The mining suspension order for BNC has been lifted, and the timing could not be better for our employees and host community in Palawan,” Mr. Simbulan said in a statement.
BNC was the only firm that passed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) mine review completed earlier this month. Mr. Simbulan said they look to rehire the people they laid off during the mining suspension, noting that they currently have only 200 employees, versus 900 prior to the suspension.
“A lot of them have been in and out of work for nearly two years because of our mining suspension. We plan to rehire our people and subcontractors to normalize our operations,” Mr. Simbulan said.
Meanwhile, ZDMC remains suspended along with 11 other mining companies that appealed their closure or suspension. The DENR has ordered that no transport of ore be allowed unless the companies fully rehabilitate their areas.
“We are still reviewing our options for ZDMC. But we are committed to seeing this through,” Mr. Simbulan said. — Arra B. Francia