By: Philippine Resources August 07, 2023

Photo credit: Nickel Asia Corporation

Listed natural resources development firm Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) (PSE: NIKL) announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the six-month period ended June 30, 2023.

During the period, the Company recorded an attributable net income (net of minority interest) of P1.7 billion, down 55 percent from P3.8 billion year-on-year.

Excluding the company’s equity interest in the Coral Bay and Taganito high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) projects, NAC’s attributable net-income (net of minority interest) of P1.8 billion is down 33 percent from P2.7 billion year-on-year on the back of lower nickel ore prices due to the growth in Indonesian nickel production and the slowdown in the Chinese economy. The combined losses incurred by the HPAL plants were due to lower metal prices of nickel and cobalt year-on-year.

Likewise, revenues declined by 8 percent to P10.9 billion from P11.8 billion in the same period last year. Operating mines sold a combined 7.52 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore, an improvement of 8 percent compared to the same period the year prior.

The Company exported 3.66 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $28.22/WMT during the period against 3.12 million WMT at $42.05/WMT from the previous year.

Additionally, the Company delivered 3.86 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito HPAL plants, realizing an average price of $10.13 per pound of payable nickel for the first six months of the year. This compares to 3.83 million WMT at $12.52 per pound of payable nickel in the same period of the previous year.

As a result, the weighted average nickel ore sales price during the period decreased by 26 percent to $22.32/WMT from $30.03/WMT last year. The Company realized P55.33 per US dollar from nickel ore sales, a 5-percent increase from P52.56 year-on-year.

The group’s consolidated Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) totaled P4.79 billion, a 25.7-percent decline from the same period last year. NAC registered a loss from its combined equity interests in the two HPAL plants in the amount of P77.4 million against a profit of P1.1 billion the year prior.

“We may have already seen the bottom of nickel ore prices for this year in the second quarter. The recent pledges from China to bolster their economy will provide a boost to their economic situation and will contribute to drive the demand for Indonesia's incremental nickel supply. The bright spot remains to be the positive electric vehicle (EV) adoption trend, which has remained strong. Furthermore, government policies globally are supportive of the EV industry, which is why we think the nickel sector will be well supported over the longterm,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO.

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