Nickel Asia shipment rises 20%

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The bulk of Nickel Asia’s extractions were from the Taganito mine site equal to 46 percent of total. contributed photo

Listed mining company Nickel Asia Corporation’s estimated value of shipments in 2018 grew year-on-year by 20 percent to P17.29 billion from P14.43 billion on the back of higher export volume, improved prices and better peso-dollar exchange.

The nickel ore producer, who exports largely to China and Japan, sold about 19.35 million wet metric tons (WMT) from its four operating mines during the year. The average selling price per WMT rose from $16.17 WMT in 2017 to $16.86 per WMT in 2018.

The company’s Taganito mine made up the largest chunk of the shipments at 46 percent.

Its exports to China and Japan both increased during the year, to 4.56 million WMT from the previous year’s 3.05 million WMT. It also delivered 4.25 million WMT of limonite ore to the Taganito HPAL, slightly lower than the previous year’s 4.59 million WMT export.

Nickel Asia’s Taganito site is the exclusive supplier of limonite ore to Taganito HPAL, the Philippines’ second hydrometallurgical nickel processing plant, according to Nickel Asia.

Despite the significant jump in nickel ore supply from Indonesia, we are delighted that the company still managed to increase its shipments for the year.

Meanwhile, the mining company’s Hinatuan site amounted to only 2.15 million WMT, lower than the previous year’s 2.45 million WMT shipment. Compared to this, the company’s Cagdianao site grew in shipments, from 1.85 million WMT the prior year to 2.64 million in 2018. The Rio Tuba mine accounted for 30 percent of the total shipment.

The average price the company received for the sales of ore exports and ore deliveries to the Taganito HPAL plant as well as the Coral Bay HPAL plant was at $16.86 per WMT, a 4 percent rise from 2017’s $16.17 WMT.

The realized peso-dollar exchange rate for ore sales was up in 2018, from P50.42 in 2017 to P53. “Despite the significant jump in nickel ore supply from Indonesia, we are delighted that the company still managed to increase its shipments for the year,” Nickel Asia president Martin Antonio Zamora was quoted in a regulatory filing to the stock exchange.

“In addition, though the LME (London Metal Exchange) nickel price was dragged down in 2018 by negative market sentiment as a result of the US-China trade dispute, we expect a recovery in 2019, on the back of demand from stainless steel producers and battery manufacturers catering to the electric car industry.”

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