DMCI Mining Corp. said Wednesday nickel ore shipment climbed 45 percent in the first half to a record 1.23 million wet metric tons from 853,000 MWT shipped in the same period last year.
DMCI Mining said of the total shipments, 718,000 WMT came from Berong Nickel Corp., which operates in Palawan. Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. which operates in Zambales accounted for 522,000 WMT.
“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 Q3 this year,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes.
The higher shipment and significant increase in nickel ore prices in the world market boosted the company’s first-half earnings to soar by 409 percent to P1.2 billion from P247 million posted in the same period last year.
First-half revenues expanded 123 percent to P2.7 billion from P1.2 billion a year ago despite the lower nickel grade. Average nickel grade of the shipped nickel dropped from 1.37 percent to 1.39 percent.
The average selling price per metric ton rallied 57 percent to $44 per WMT over China’s surging stainless steel production, strong demand for electric vehicles and the continuing Indonesian nickel ore export ban.
“The uptrend in nickel prices is likely to continue in the coming months because of production-consumption gaps. Major nickel producers are seeing lower output because of COVID-19 lockdowns and various operating issues but industrial manufacturing is still ramping up,” Reyes said.
Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking, but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles. The International Energy Agency estimates that global EVs will grow 14 times to 145 million by 2030.