Mining companies register higher income amid COVID

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    Despite the pandemic, two mining firms booked better finances in the first nine months of the year.

    Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) registered a 20-percent surge in its attributable net income reaching P2.30 billion compared to 2019’s P1.92 billion attributed to improved ore export prices driven by strong demand from the Chinese stainless steel market.

    Revenues for the period improved by 11 percent to P15.11 billion from P13.66 billion as it realized an average realized export price of $30.06 per wet metric ton (WMT), 38 percent higher compared to $21.81 per WMT in 2019.

    “A strong rise in ore prices during the third quarter was more than enough to offset the drop in shipment volumes during the first nine-months. We remain cautiously optimistic our shipment volumes for the year will come close to the levels we had in 2019. Weather conditions in the southern part of the country, where three of our mines are located, has been favorable, allowing for an extended shipment season,” said Martin Antonio Zamora, NAC’s president and chief executive officer.

    Meanwhile, Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. reported a net income of P490 million for the period, a turnaround performance as the company suffered a net loss of P45 for the similar time frame in 2019.

    The company said that the improvement is due to the sustained stability of operation as well as the significant increase in gold production and prices.

    Atlas Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Carmen Copper Corp., reported copper metal production at 81.62 million pounds (lb) from 81.54 million lb while gold reached 35,814 ounces (oz) from 28,704 ounces.

    Average realized copper prices for the first nine months of the year dropped by four percent to $2.64 per lb from $2.73 per lb while the average realized gold price jumped by 27 percent to $1,740 per oz from $1,367 per oz.

    “We have focused on stabilizing operations and sustaining efficiencies by investing in maintenance, safety and optimizing our mine plan that resulted in sustained higher volumes of production and lower cost per pound of copper. This has positioned our company not only to withstand any downturn in the commodities market but also to maximize earnings when metal prices improve as we have experienced this year,” Adrian Ramos, the company’s president, said in a statement. – Jed Macapagal