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Vale 2017 copper production update

Metal News - Published on Tue, 20 Feb 2018

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Vale announced that copper production reached 438,500 tonne in 2017, remaining practically in line with 2016 and with the guidance of 438,000 tonne that had been previously announced. Production decrease in Canadian operations, mainly due to the flowsheet transition towards a smaller footprint as well as the impact of an unscheduled maintenance shutdown at the Coleman mine, was practically offset by a record annual production of 193,400 tonne at Salobo, 17,500 tonne higher than in 2016.

Sales volumes of copper reached 423,800 tonne in 2017, remaining in line with 2016. Sales volumes are lower compared to production volumes due to payable copper vs. contained copper content: part of the copper contained in the concentrates is lost in the smelting and refining process and, hence, payable quantities of copper are approximately 3.5% lower than production volumes.

Brazilian operations
Production of copper in concentrate at Sossego totaled 22,600 tonne in 4Q17, 11.7% lower than in 3Q17 and in line with 4Q16. The decrease when compared to 3Q17 was due to lower ore grades being processed at the mill.

Production of copper in concentrate at Salobo reached a quarterly record of 53,000 tonne in 4Q17, 2.3% and 6.4% higher than in 3Q17 and 4Q16, respectively, mainly due to higher feed grades and strong plant performance. Salobo achieved a monthly production record of 18,500 tonne of copper in concentrate in November.

Canadian operations
Production of copper from Sudbury reached 25,400 tonne in 4Q17, 15.6% and 21.1% lower than in 3Q17 and 4Q16, respectively, mainly due to the extended unscheduled maintenance at the Coleman mine as well as the cessation of mining activities at the Stobie mine since 2Q17.

Production of copper from Voisey’s Bay reached 9,200 tonne in 4Q17, 39.4% higher than in 3Q17 due to the three week scheduled maintenance period in 3Q17. 4Q17 production was 16.4% lower than in 4Q16 due to lower copper mine grades and as a result of more Voisey’s Bay nickel concentrate feed being sent to Long Harbour rather than Sudbury in order to support Long Harbour's successful ramp-up. In 2018, copper cathode production from Voisey’s Bay source feed will increase at Long Harbour.

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Posted By : Amom Remju on Tue, 20 Feb 2018
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