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Vale: 2019Q3 nickel production up 14 per cent month-on-month is expected to increase further
Oct 15,2019 14:29CST
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Source:SMM
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM10, March 15: recently, Vale released its third quarter financial report, in the third quarter of 2019, finished nickel production reached 51400 tons, an increase of 14.2% over the previous quarter, as refineries in the North Atlantic and Asia gradually returned to normal production in the third quarter after planned and unplanned maintenance. In Brazil, the On ç a Puma) mine was legally allowed to resume mining and processing operations in September, another milestone in the stabilization of production. Next quarter, as production at all refineries returns to normal and the Onsabuma mine resumes production, the company expects production to grow further. Nickel sales were 50.9 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, 11.5 percent lower than in the second quarter of 2019.

Canadian business

During the second quarter of 2019, affected by planned and unplanned maintenance activities at the North Atlantic Refinery, this production returned to normal levels in the third quarter of 2019 and gradually recovered throughout the third quarter. All refineries should operate at a normal rate throughout the fourth quarter, which will help to increase production in the next quarter. The North Atlantic plant is currently operating as planned and has also extracted previously stored materials accumulated by the refinery during maintenance downtime, and the accumulation of intermediate inputs currently being refined reflects little impact on upstream mines.

Production at the Sudbury (Sudbury) raw mine reached 13.3 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 38.5 per cent and 44.6 per cent over the second quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2018, respectively, reflecting that in the third quarter, following unplanned maintenance at the Cliff Copper and Nickel Refinery, Clyde (Clydach) carried out planned maintenance activities the refinery in Wales began operation in the second quarter of 2019. Activity at the copper cliff nickel refinery (Copper Cliff Nickel), which was still affected by a number of operational problems in September, has fully recovered. Production increased compared with the third quarter of last year, when Sudbury received regular maintenance.

Thompson raw mine (Thompson) production reached 2.7 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.8 per cent and 42.1 per cent, respectively, over the second quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2018, mainly due to the timing of inventory utilization throughout the supply chain. Production at the Voisey Bay raw mine reached 8.7 kilotons in the third quarter of 19, an increase of 2.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent over the second quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2018, respectively, mainly due to the commencement of production in Changgang after maintenance in June.

Indonesia Business (PTVI)

PTVI's finished nickel production reached 18.5 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, 40.2% higher than in the second quarter of 2019 and 10.2% lower than in the third quarter of 2018, higher than in the second quarter of 2019, as both Matsuzaka and Clydach refineries resumed full operation after planned 2Q19 maintenance activities and had a shorter access to market due to the processing of some PTVI feedstock through Dalian Refinery. Production fell compared with the third quarter as Clyde (Clydach) Refinery produced more nickel from PTVI sources in that quarter.

Matte nickel (Nickel in matte) production at the PTVI plant reached 19.8kt in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 12.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively, over the second quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2018. The performance in the third quarter of 2019 was strong, reaching the highest level of production in the third quarter since 2017.

New Caledonian (VNC)

VNC's finished nickel production reached 6.4 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, 8.5% higher than in the second quarter of 2019 and 14.7% lower than in the third quarter of 2018. Production increased compared with the second quarter of 2019 due to shorter access to market for nickel hydroxide-related products and an increase in the share of nickel hydroxide in the product portfolio in the third quarter of 19. Production decreased compared with the third quarter of 2018 as Dalian Refinery processed VNC raw materials at a higher rate in the third quarter of 2018.

Production of nickel oxide and nickel hydroxide cake at VNC reached 6.3 kilotons in the third quarter of 2019, 21.2% higher than in the second quarter and 8.7% lower than in the third quarter. Nickel oxide accounted for 57 per cent of VNC production in the third quarter of 2019 and nickel hydroxide accounted for 43 per cent. Due to the operation of the roaster, the share of nickel hydroxide increased, which limited the production of nickel oxide on the spot in September.

Brazil Business (On ç a Puma)

Production of On ç a Puma in the third quarter of 2019 reached 0.1 kilotons, reflecting the cessation of all nickel processing activities at the plant by judicial order in June 2019. Mining activities in On ç a Puma have been suspended since 2017. Supported by the report of the designated expert, Vale obtained a favourable decision of the Court in September and resumed mining and processing activities. Processing activities have resumed immediately and mining activities are under preparation and personnel are employed and trained in mines. Lower-grade previously stored ores are being used to resume processing activities and with the completion of mining activities higher-grade ores in the mine will increase production in the coming quarters.

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