Marcventures sets P2.8-B capex for three new mine sites

Published October 21, 2020, 1:30 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Nickel miner Marcventures Holdings, Inc. (MHI) had set aside a combined amount of nearly P2.8 billion to get at least three new mining ventures going, two of which are in Samar while the other one is in Surigao, a top company official said.

MHI President Isidro Alcantara, Jr. said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday that right now, Marcventures Mining and Development (MMDC), the operating subsidiary of MHI, is working on the expansion of its mine site in Surigao del Sur, as well as its plan to pursue and operate two bauxite mines in Samar.

According to him, MMDC had already set a P250-million capital expenditure (capex) for the expansion of its nickel mine operating in the Municipalities of Cantilan, Carrascal and Madrid in the Province of Surigao del Sur.

“There’s another property beside MMDC in Surigao that we are discussing [to explore] now. We will develop it also. It will increase our reserves. That [project] will take a year. We will just connect it to the existing facilities of MMDC,” Alcantara told reporters.

Meanwhile, he said the firm is also in the process of securing Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) for its two bauxite mine sites in Samar, located across the municipalities of Motiong, Paranas, Gandara, San Jose de Buan, San Jorge, and Matuguinao.

At the same time, MMDC is already seeking for the government approval for the mining feasibility studies of these projects, which according to Alcantara would require a combined capex of P2.5 billion. 

He also said that the company is now looking for potential partners, who will most likely be foreign companies since there aren’t a lot of developed bauxite mine sites in the Philippines yet.

“It is one of the most exciting commodities now,” Alcantara said. “We are very hopeful about that.”
Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminum. In 2018, MHI revealed that its Bauxite properties in Samar is estimated to have as much as 73.2 million wet metric tons of bauxite ore.

During the briefing, Alcantara revealed that he will be retiring from MHI by the end of this month. He has served as the President of the company since September 2014.

MHI saw its net income turning around from a net loss during the first half of this year. 

To be specific, it registered a net income of P137.52 million, which is 153 percent better than the P258.54 million net loss it registered in the same period last year.

A previous report showed that MHI started its turnaround last year when it reported a consolidated net income of P37.8 million from a net loss of P388.8 million in 2018.

This, according to the firm’s regulatory filing, was on the back of a growth in revenues to P1.43 billion in 2019 from P987.26 million the year before.

MMDC, on the other hand, recorded net income of P196.72 million from January to June this year, coming from a net loss of P217.37 million in the same period last year.

In 2019, MMDC’s profits also rose to P165.44 million from a net loss of P262.93 million.