SMM5, 15 March: Eramet recently announced its first quarter results, which showed that thanks to the new production record company's sales of 873 million euros in the first quarter of 2019, due to the growth of manganese and mineralized sand business, Sales in the first quarter of 2019 were at a high level compared with the first quarter of 2018, when the company's manganese and nickel ore production reached an all-time high, and the Government of New Caledonian approved the export of 4 million tons of nickel ore per year and the implementation of the 147th hour Agreement. The company confirms its 2019 production target of 4.5 million tons of manganese ore and 1.5 million tons of nickel ore.
Christel BORIES, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eramet, said that due to the implementation of the new model and schedule, we have obtained new mining production records for manganese and nickel this quarter. In New Caledonia, the Government has given the green light to our demand for nickel ore exports. At present, the company has been carrying out two years of strategic and management transformation is achieving results, improving operational performance. Despite the slight deterioration in the environment, we stuck to it and confirmed our goal for this year.
Business situation of Eramet Group
Mining and metals sector
The company's manganese ore production reached a record 1 million tons, an increase of 14 per cent. In the first quarter of 2019, despite the fall in prices, manganese turnover continued to increase to 434 million euros (+ 7 per cent), reflecting the very good market for ores and manganese alloys. World production of carbon steel, the main export of manganese, remained at a high level of 4.45 million tons 4 in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.3 per cent (in line with the fourth quarter of 2018). This growth is mainly due to Chinese demand (+ 8.4 per cent), accounting for about 52 per cent of global production. Production growth slowed in the rest of the world (- 1.6 per cent), with a very different trend, with + 5.8 per cent in North America and 5.1 per cent in Europe. As a result, this shows that demand for manganese mines remains strong and that all producers around the world continue to operate at full capacity. After falling at the start of the year, ore stocks at Chinese ports remained stable at 3.2 million tons at the end of the first quarter of 2019.
The average price of 44 per cent manganese ore in CIF China remained as high as $6.59 per dmtu in the quarter. However, it was down 11% from the first quarter of 2018 ($7.40 / dmtu) and 8% from the fourth quarter of 2018 ($7.12 / dmtu). The adjusted currency impact (the appreciation of the dollar against the euro) fell by 4 per cent compared with the same period last year.
In the first quarter of 2019, Comilog's manganese ore production in Gabon increased by 14 per cent to 1 million tons, in line with the 2019 target of 4.5 million tons. Ore transport increased by 27% to 996 kilotons. In the first quarter of 2018, it was punished for derailment of a mineral train in February, with external ore sales up 13 per cent to 776 kilotons.
Prices of manganese alloys also fell in Europe in the first quarter of 2019, particularly refined Ferro-manganese (- 6%) and silicomanganese (- 6%). However, they remained stable or rose slightly in the fourth quarter of 2018. The production of manganese alloy is 191 kilotons (+ 7%). Sales of manganese alloys rose 4% to 175, 000 tons.
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