By James A. Loyola
DMCI Mining Corporation expects 2019 to be a tough year even after the lifting of the suspension of shipments by subsidiary Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) in November 2018.
“We will be shipping mostly lower grade nickel which fetches a lower price in the market. Our inventory is also nearly depleted,” explained DMCI Mining President Cesar F. Simbulan Jr.
In 2018, DMCI Mining shipped 643 thousand wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore, a 22 percent improvement from 525 thousand WMT the prior year.
Average nickel grade of the shipments stood at 1.70 percent, up 13 percent year-on-year from 1.51 percent. This year, the company expects to ship nickel ore with an average grade of 1.57 percent.
DMCI Mining is still working on the reopening of its other nickel asset, Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC).
In an Order dated November 15, 2018, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) partially granted ZDMC’s Motion for Reconsideration by modifying its earlier Closure Order to an Order suspending the operations, production and shipment of the company.
The DENR also declared that ZDMC may be permitted to operate again once it meets certain conditions, which include continued rehabilitation and reforestation of the mine site as well as management of environmental structures in the area.