Brazil’s Vale is reassessing its loss-making New Caledonian nickel operations as part of a wider review of low performing assets after new Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman took charge last month, a spokesman said.
“Under the leadership of our new CEO, Vale is reviewing all assets and operations, with low-performing assets an area of particular focus. Vale New Caledonia is part of that review,” spokesman Cory McPhee told Reuters by email.
“The nickel price today is languishing at around $9,000 a tonne with no indication of recovery in the near-term. This has forced us to reassess all areas of the nickel business, including our operations in New Caledonia, which continue to lose money at these prices.”
Schvartsman has set up working groups to assess each of the business units at Vale, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, and a report is expected within two months, according to analysts.
Global nickel miners are coming under renewed pressure to cut costs or close capacity as a flood of cheap ore enters the market, and Vale has already said it plans to suspend two of its older high-cost Canadian mines this year.
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