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Vale 2017 cobalt production update

Metal News - Published on Tue, 20 Feb 2018

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Vale announced that cobalt reached an annual production of 5,811 tonne in 2017. Cobalt production totaled 1,650 tonne in 4Q17, 10.8% and 3.1% higher than in 3Q17 and 4Q16, respectively, mainly driven by production from VNC, Voisey’s Bay and in Sudbury.

Production of cobalt from Sudbury source takes about 3 months from the moment nickel ore is mined at Sudbury to the moment that the cobalt by-product is processed in Port Colborne. Sudbury source cobalt decreased 19.4% compared to 3Q17 mainly due to the impact of the closure of Stobie mine in 2Q17, whose inventory of cobalt intermediate was drawdown and processed in 3Q17. To compensate for this decrease, Sudbury cobalt production line consumed greater amounts of external cobalt feed, leading to the increase in cobalt from Other sources.

Voisey’s Bay cobalt production increased compared to 3Q17, mainly due to the successful ramp-up of Long Harbour. As Long Harbour continues to ramp-up we will benefit from the high cobalt recoveries at Long Harbour and produce more Voisey’s Bay source cobalt than in previous periods. Also, there was a spot reconciliation of previous period volumes that attributed a negative amount to Thompson and higher volumes to Voisey’s Bay (254 tonne) in 4Q17. Cobalt production in Long Harbour increased from around 100 tonne in 1Q17 to 400 t in 4Q17, a significant increase that strengthens the refinery performance with robust by-product credits.

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Posted By : Amom Remju on Tue, 20 Feb 2018
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