Nickel ore producer Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI), through its subsidiary Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC), exceeded its 2018 total volume target of 5.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) by 3.8 percent, to 5.709 million WMT.
The second largest nickel producer in the Philippines, FNI breached its 100-vessel mark with 103 recorded shipments, allowing the company to wrap up their 2018 nickel ore shipments with the last vessel departing on 31 October 2018.
FNI previously set the shipment target to 6.0 million WMT, but cut it to 5.5 million to take advantage of the higher market price of Saprolite nickel ores in a move to offset the lowering of nickel prices.
Third quarter report from FNI revealed that the company’s net income went down by 24 percent from P783.6 million in 2017 to P595.4 million. Shipped volume from January to September also declined by 4.4 percent, with only 85 vessels shipped compared to last year’s 90 in the same period.
In a separate regulatory filing, FNI disclosed that it shifted its focus to shipping higher-grade ores, which is expected to lead to lesser shipment volume as higher grade ores involve more processing, although yields better in terms of market price.
“It is only this year as opposed to the past several years that the company was able to produce and ship nickel ore at a higher medium grade of 1.65 percent to take advantage of its relatively high price and better margins,” the company said in the disclosure.
For a final tally, FNI said that they were able to produce and ship 2.658 million WMT of low-grade nickel ore and 3.051 million WMT of medium-grade nickel ore, including 0.6 million WMT medium-grade ores with 1.65 percent nickel content. The company’s resulting sales mix for low-grade ores dropped to 47 percent this year compared to last year’s 61 percent, while medium-grade ores rose to 53 percent from 39 percent in 2017.
FNI also saw a nearly 40 percent rise in its mineral resources, attributed to an active exploration of its Cagdianao (CAGA) site which started in 2014. FNI reported that its combined measured and indicated mineral resources grew to 75.688 million dry metric tons (DMT) as of 15 October, composing an average grade of 1.2 percent nickel and 30 percent iron.
FNI’s actively mined CAGA-4 site reported a 93.4 percent growth in mineral resources, from an estimate of 16.932 million DMT in 2017 to a 2018 estimate of 32.758 million DMT, the highest increase in mineral resources among the five areas part of the exploration.