Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) on Tuesday said it recorded a net income of P7.93 billion last year, an increase of 15 percent from the previous year’s P7.81 billion, despite lower sales.
The company said its nickel ore sales volume from its five operating mines in Cagdianao, Dinapigue, Hinatuan, Rio Tuba and Taganito fell 11 percent to 15.94 million wet metric tons (WMT) from the previous year’s 17.94 WMT.
The drop in sales volume was almost in direct proportion to unrealized workable days caused by unfavorable weather that affected the company’s mining operations during the period, it said.
“Despite the inclement weather that affected our nickel mining business, 2022 remained a good year for NAC with prices for the metal buoyed by high demand,” Martin Antonio Zamora, the company’s president and CEO, said. “Our renewable energy business also made strides as it was able to increase its generational capacity and forge a partnership with an international player, Shell Investments B.V.”
“The gains we made in 2022 show that we remain committed to our ambitious 2025 target of becoming the premier ESG [environmental, social, governance] investment in the country and top 25 in market capitalization of the listed companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange. This year will be no different as we continue to build a strong foundation to achieve our goals.”
Revenues rose by 2 percent year-on-year to P28.03 billion from P27.4 billion in 2021, after the weighted average realized price of ore sold slightly rose to $29.17 per WMT from the previous $29.13 per WMT.
Breaking down the ore sales, the company exported 8.15 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore to Japanese and Chinese customers at the weighted average price of $39.39 per WMT during the year, compared to 10.79 million WMT at $40.40 per WMT last year.
Nickel Asia delivered 7.79 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito high pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the LME, and realized an average price of $11.64 per pound of payable nickel.
This compares to 7.14 million WMT at $8.35 per pound of payable nickel in 2021. Expressed in US dollar per WMT, deliveries to the two HPAL plants generated $18.72 and $12.03 in 2022 and 2021, respectively.
As a result of higher LME prices, Nickel Asia said it recognized gain from its equity share in its investments in the two HPAL plants in the combined amount of P942.1 million in 2022, a 69 percent increase compared to P557.9 million in the previous year.
The realized peso to US dollar exchange rate for ore sales was P54.90 compared to P49.48 in the prior year.
Total operating cash cost was almost the same year-on-year at P12.25 billion. On a per WMT of ore sold basis, total operating cash costs reached P769 per WMT compared to P683 per WMT in the previous year, the company said.