Nickel Asia earnings more than double to P2.6B
Nickel Asia Corp. saw its net income jump more than two-fold in the nine months to September to P2.62 billion, largely due to a stronger US dollar, improved metal prices and a turnaround in its investments in two plants.
“The combined effects of the company focusing more on shipments of its higher- value saprolite ore, more particularly in the first quarter when ore prices were firmer, a stronger U.S. dollar and a turnaround in profits from the company’s equity share in its investment in both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants, resulted to a significant improvement in earnings during the first nine months,” Nickel Asia said.
Nickel Asia’s total share of earnings on its 10 percent stake in the two plants amounted to P21 million compared to a loss of P561 million during the same period last year. The turn-around was mainly driven by strong cobalt prices, a by-product of both plants.
The company sold an aggregate 14.24 million wet metric tons of nickel ore in the first nine months as against 15.18 million WMT in the same period last year. The drop in shipment volumes was the result of a delayed start of shipments from its Hinatuan and Cagdianao mines due to the prolonged rainy season and resulting sea swells in northeastern Mindanao, where the two mines are located.
Of the total volume of ore shipped, 7.31 million WMT was saprolite ore and 6.92 million WMT was limonite ore, which includes 6.27 million WMT delivered to both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants.
In terms of price, the company realized an average of $4.49 per pound of payable nickel on its shipments of ore to the two HPAL plants, higher than the average price of $4.19 per pound of payable nickel sold the previous year.
“Despite lower ore shipments, we managed to show respectable results driven by higher prices and the impressive turnaround in the financial results of the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants,” said Gerard H. Brimo, president and CEO of Nickel Asia.