Vale reports production declines across wide band of commodities – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – October 18, 2012)

http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page102055?

Bloomberg Industries says Vale’s share of the global seaborne iron-ore market has declined from 28% in the first half of 2011 to 26% for the same period of this year.

RENO (MINEWEB) – Vale has reported production declines in iron ore, pellets, manganese, copper, potash and phosphate rock for the first nine months of this year.

While the Brazilian mega-miner’s coal output increased a record 144.4% during the period, pellet output was up 3.8% and nickel production stayed flat.

For the first nine months of this year, Vale reported iron ore production of 234.5 million metric tons, a 2.2% drop over the 240 million metric tons of production reported during the first nine months of 2011.

“At Carajas we have not been able to match last year’s performance,” said Vale. “Issues with environmental permitting led to the continuation of mining in some older pits, which has entailed lower productivity, lower Fe content and higher costs.”
“Current performance is definitely not consistent with the high quality of our assets and corrective measures are underway,” the company said in its 3Q12 production report.

For the third quarter of this year, Vale reported a 4.5% decline in iron ore output from 87,890 metric tons on the third-quarter 2011 to 83,926 metric tons.

However, the output of Vale’s southern system including Minas Itabirito, Vargem Grande and Paraopeba recorded its best third quarter performance since 2008 “reflecting continuous improvements at Vargem Grande and the optimization of operations at Paraopeba.”

Pellets plants reported a 3.8% increase in the first nine months of this year from 39.9 million metrics tons for the first nine months of 2011 to 41.4 million metric tons. For the third quarter of the year, Vale reported 14.46 million metric tons of production, up 1.6% from the 14.23 million metric tons of output reported during the same quarter of last year.

Manganese ore production dropped 5.5% from 1.8 million metric tons for the first nine months of 2011 to 1.8 million metric tons for the first nine months of 2012. However, Ferroalloy output increased slightly during the same period to 331,000 metric tons.

Vale’s metallurgical coal production increased a strong 126.9% during the first nine months of the year from 1.6 million metric tons during the first nine months of 2011 to 3.61 million metric tons.

Meanwhile, “the production of metallurgical coal totaled 1.2 Mt, an all-time high for a third quarter,” from 586,000 metric tons in the third quarter of 2011, Vale noted, while the output of thermal coal increased 63.3% to 524,000 metric tons.

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