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[SMM Analysis] what is the impact of Vale's suspension of its 10-year nickel-iron plant?
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM11, 21 Feb: a Brazilian court has ordered Vale to pay $26.8 million in river pollution and public health pollution compensation to two indigenous tribes caused by the company's nickel mining operations in the northern state of Para. According to the local magazine F ó rum, the judge also directed Vale to stop the production of the On ç aPuma nickel-iron plant, which had been in operation for a decade, until certain environmental requirements were met and plans were made to alleviate and compensate the Xikrin and Kayapo tribes. In a statement cited by F ó rum, Vale said it would appeal the decision because "expert reports show that the business has not caused any harm to the Catete River and local indigenous communities."

Vale produced 55700 tons of nickel in the third quarter of 2018, 66200 tons in the second quarter and 72700 tons in the third quarter of 2017, down 23.4 per cent from a year earlier and 15.9 per cent from a month earlier.

The company produced 180600 tons of nickel in the first nine months of 2018, compared with 210100 tons in the same period in 2017, down 14 per cent from a year earlier.

As previously announced, nickel production in the third quarter of 2018 reflected the one-off impact of the planned shutdown maintenance at the Sudbury plant, the first annual maintenance at the Sudbury plant since the completion of the transition to a single calciner. At the same time, the Thompson plant has completed the transformation to the "mine and concentrator" mode of operation. As nickel from the Thompson plant now needs to be sent to the Sudbury plant for smelting, the temporary impact on the two plants resulted in nickel production of 55700 tons in the third quarter. These two one-off factors only had an impact on the third quarter of this year. With improvements in the process flow between the Thompson and Sudbury plants, nickel production is expected to return to established guidance levels in the fourth quarter and beyond.

Nickel prices rose about 75 per cent in the first half of 2018, boosting investment in related projects. Vale also decided in June to continue building an underground mine in Voisey's Bay nickel mine, in Newfoundland and Labrador provinces of the Canadian Atlantic Ocean. The company also suspended the sale of its stake in the New Caledonian nickel mine.

Goldman Sachs Group (Goldman Sachs Group Inc.) The nickel industry is becoming a dual market, with poor prospects for raw materials in the stainless steel industry and strong demand growth in the electric vehicle (EV) industry will partly support prices, a report said last month.

According to an official survey conducted by SMM to Vale, the, Onca Puma plant is still in operation after the local court ruling, and its production has not been affected in the third quarter, reaching 6100 nickel tons, an increase of 9 percent over Q2, the highest level since the third quarter of last year. SMM will continue to follow up on whether production has been affected in the fourth quarter.

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