DMCI Mining earnings up 14% on higher shipments

DMCI Mining Corp. recorded a 14% growth in core net income to P543 million in the first quarter of this year from P477 million in the same period last year, its parent firm said on Wednesday.

In a disclosure, DMCI Holdings, Inc. said its unit’s core profit during the quarter was “its highest for any given quarter.” Revenues increased 25% to P1.4 billion, driven by higher nickel ore shipments and favorable foreign exchange rates.

DMCI Mining President Tulsi Das C. Reyes described the company’s performance as “a very good start to the year.”

“Unfortunately, without a second operating asset, it would be impossible to maintain our output. Our main challenge now is securing the necessary permits to expand our operations,” he said.

From January to March, total production plunged by 43% to 318,000 wet metric tons (WMT) from 555,000 WMT on the nil production of Berong Nickel Corp. (BNC). Meanwhile, the output from Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) went up by 5% to 318,000 WMT from 313,000 WMT.

Average selling price slipped by 6% to $44 from $47 as BNC sold lower-grade nickel amid higher shipments from ZDMC.

The company said that despite the depletion of its Berong mine, it was able to boost its total shipments by 26% from 494,000 WMT to 620,000 WMT.

DMCI Mining said it is looking to expand its mining operations by another 3,500 hectares, which has a potential nickel resource of over 200 million WMT.

“Once fully permitted, these additional operating assets can sustain the company for at least 50 years,” it added.

Last month, DMCI Holdings Chairman and President Isidro A. Consunji told stockholders that the group was considering transferring DMCI Mining to another subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power Corp.

“We are currently studying whether it will be of great value for two sets of stockholders, whether we can transfer DMCI Mining to Semirara to create value for both stockholders,” Mr. Consunji told stockholders during their annual meeting.

He also said that the company has several properties in Palawan and Zambales that are awaiting mining permits and potential mineral production sharing agreements.

At the stock exchange on Wednesday, DMCI Holdings shares went down by 0.11% or one centavo to close at P8.99. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson