SYDNEY, Jan. 18 -- New Caledonia's Societe Le Nickel (SLN), which supplies almost 5 percent of the world's nickel, expects mining to return to normal by Tuesday following a cyclone that passed over the South Pacific island on the weekend, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.
SLN, a subsidiary of France's Eramet suspended work at its five mines on the island on Friday ahead of cyclone Vania but was now in the processing of reactivating operations, a spokeswoman told Reuters by telephone from the capital Noumea.
She said none of the mines suffered serious damage and that the company's Doniambo smelter in Noumea operated at a reduced pace over the weekend.
SLN was tracking a second cyclone Zelia, which did not pose an immediate threat to its smelting and mining operations as it was expected to pass south of the island without touching land.
The Doniambo smelter produces about 55,000 tonnes of nickel a year from ores supplied by the mines. It is undertaking work at its mines and smelter to lift output to 65,000 tonnes a year by 2013.
World nickel consumption was 1.4 million tonnes last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
Nickel was quoted at $25,900 a tonne on Monday, holding near its highest since May 2010.