Nickel miner Vale continues to cut costs – by Stefani Ribka (Jakarta Post – July 11, 2016)

Major nickel producer Vale Indonesia (INCO) continues to cut costs to prevent further loss as nickel prices have yet to show signs of recovery.

The publicly listed firm has taken short and long term efficiency measures, said chief financial officer Febriany. Business travel reduction and a hiring freeze are some of the short-term measures the firm has implemented so far.

“We will delay whatever plans that can be delayed without lowering the company’s core quality,” she said after a recent annual general shareholders’ meeting. In the long term, the firm — which is owned by Vale Canada Limited, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., Vale Japan Limited, Sumitomo Corporation and the public — seeks to significantly diversify fuel use to reduce costs.

It already owns three coal-based power plants with a combined capacity of 365 megawatt in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, where it operates its major mining and smelter site.

The plants have enabled Vale to generate the electricity required to operate a furnace at its smelter, cutting its dependence on state-owned electricity firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

However, several parts at the smelter, such as reduction rotary kilns and dryers, are still highly dependent on oil and thus remain a burden on the firm’s finances.

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