PHL nickel miners seen to get a boost from Indonesia export ban

BW background - PHL nickel miners seen to get a boost from Indonesia export ban

By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter

NICKEL ore producers in the Philippines are expected to get a boost, after Indonesia announced that it will suspend nickel ore exports for the rest of the year.

Mining stocks got a lift at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), where the mining and oil subsector was up 143.91 points or 1.57% to close at 9,285.91 on Tuesday. The PSE index closed 44.66 points or 0.56% higher at 7,991.19 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index added 12.92 points or 0.27% to 4,787.17.

Nickel Asia Corp., the Philippines’ top nickel ore producer, rose 5.15% or 20 centavos to close at P4.08 each. Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc., another nickel ore miner, also jumped 3.57% or 6 centavos to close at P1.74 each.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Indonesia suspended nickel ore exports immediately, as the country aims to become a processor of its mineral resources.

Indonesia was the top nickel-producer in 2018 with 560,000 tons, followed by the Philippines, with 340,000 tons. Both Indonesia and the Philippines’ top export market for the mineral is China.

Timson Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Jervin S. de Celis said Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban will benefit Philippine nickel ore miners.

“The move of Indonesian government in the ban of nickel exports will cause the price of the metal rise in the world market and that may translate to higher revenues for Nickel Asia, Global Ferronickel and other nickel-exporting firms from the Philippines,” he said in a text message.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) has lined up proposed amendments for the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code (PMRC) 2007.

“‘Yung process namin na ‘to [This process] is really to benchmark and see where appropriate… revisions or upgrades in our reporting framework for mining companies would have to be introduced,” PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran told BusinessWorld via phone.

“It’s been a long time. It’s been more than ten years… and the world is changing,” he added.

The code was adopted by the PSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2008, which sets minimum standards, recommendations, and guidelines for public reporting of listed mining companies.

At that time it was compatible with the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee Code 2004 and the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards International Reporting Template 2006. The implementing rules and regulations of PMRC 2007 was issued by the SEC and the PSE in October 2010.

The PSE said that a Philippine Mineral Reporting Code Committee (PMRCC) was formed November 2018 to lead the process of revising the PMRC 2007 which started February this year.

The PMRCC members include the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers, Geology Society of the Philippines, and the Society of the Metallurgical Engineers of the Philippines, along with the PSE and other minerals-industry stakeholders.

A public hearing on the amendments to the PMRC will be held the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Central Office in Quezon City on November 9.

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