DMCI Mining Corp. said it is on track to surpass its 2022 nickel ore production and shipments after recording improvements in the first semester.
From January to June, production nearly doubled to 1.12 million wet metric tons (WMT) from 567,000 WMT. The figure is even better than its 2022 full-year output of 1.03 million WMT.
Meanwhile, shipments in the first half reached 1.06 million WMT, equivalent to 73 percent of the total sales volume of 1.45 million WMT in 2022.
“We attribute our strong performance to improved operational efficiency and permit timing,” DMCI Mining President Tulsi Das C. Reyes said.
“Shortly after Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. [ZDMC] was granted an ECC amendment, we worked on securing the auxiliary permits, local manpower and heavy equipment needed to boost our production capacity.”
Last January, ZDMC was granted an amended environmental compliance certificate (ECC) that allowed the company to raise its annual production to a maximum of 2.7 million dry metric tons.
“To sustain our growth momentum and offset the impact of our Berong mine depletion, we are looking to open new mines in Zambales,” said Reyes.
Reyes said one mine will be operational by December this year and another is set to open by second quarter of 2024.
“Now we’re talking about a new company and new mine, that is maybe three weeks or one month behind our permit for that asset inside ZDMC,” he said.
“I strongly believe that we have a very good chance to get this permit before year-end, but please note we have to get tree-cutting permit afterwards. Once we get the tree cutting permit, we can mine.”
If there were delays, it could start in January or February but maybe due to the cutting of trees and mobilization of heavy equipment, which needs lead time, according to Reyes.
“I’m confident we’ll get the permit, shovels in the ground. But I’m very confident it’ll happen within the proper time frame plus minus one month.”
For the first half of 2023, DMCI Mining recorded a net income of P708 million, a 35-percent drop from last year’s P1.09 billion owing to lower selling prices and increased costs from higher shipments, fuel consumption, depreciation, amortization and labor expenses.