Makati—(PHStocks)—DMCI Mining Corp., the mining arm of DMCI Holdings Inc. (PSE: DMC), registered a 25% decline in nickel ore shipments in the first half of the year, slipping from 1.16WMT to 873,37WMT due to receding nickel prices and sluggish demand for lower-grade nickel.
During the same period, average selling price per wet metric ton fell 40% from $41 to $28.
DMCI Mining is bracing for an even tougher second half, as both its operating companies in Palawan and Zambales received suspension orders from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“Early this year, we were planning on expanding our operations. But with the suspension, we have no choice but to put everything on hold,” said DMCI Mining president Cesar F. Simbulan Jr.
“We actually acquired over P100 million in additional heavy equipment during the first half, and had plans of hiring more workers to ramp up production. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible,” added Simbulan.
With the recent suspensions, Berong Nickel Corp. is set to lay off over 300 seasonal workers in the coming weeks while Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. has already let go of more than a hundred personnel.
“We are speaking to the host communities to explain the situation. They know that this is something beyond our control,” said Simbulan.
According to DMCI Mining, they are fully cooperating with the government to facilitate the audit and lift the suspension order.
“Our mining and environmental management protocols are consistent with regulatory standards so we hope to resolve the suspensions and resume operations soon,” added Simbulan.