DMCI Mining Corp. said its raw nickel ore output nearly doubled to 1.12 million wet metric tons (WMT) in the first half of 2023 from 567,000 WMT in the same period in 2022.
It also surpassed 2022’s full-year nickel production of 1.03 WMT by 8.7 percent.
DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said shipments in the first half of 2022 reached 1.06 million WMT, equivalent to 73 percent of the total sales volume of 1.45 million WMT in 2022.
“We hit 1 million MT in the first six months, so we’re very pleased that we will have historical year in terms of shipments this year, and that will help offset the lower prices because we have a volume gain. We’ve never hit 1 million [MT of output] this fast,” he said.
The company attributed the strong performance to improved operational efficiency and improvements in the permitting process.
“Shortly after Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. was granted an ECC amendment, we worked on securing the auxiliary permits, local manpower and heavy equipment needed to boost our production capacity,” Reyes said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) approved in January 2023 the amended environmental compliance certificate (ECC) that allowed the company to raise its annual production to a maximum of 2.7 million dry MT from 1 million DMT.
DMCI Mining is looking at other sources of nickel, including opening new nickel mines in Palawan to sustain its growth momentum and offset the impact of the Berong Nickel mine closure.
Reyes said one mine in Palawan would start operations by December 2023 and another would open by the second quarter of 2024.