Cuba sees 2017 nickel, cobalt sulfides output at 54,500 tonnes (Reuters U.S. – July 9, 2017)

Cuba plans to produce 54,500 tonnes of nickel and cobalt sulfides this year, state-run television said at the weekend.

Nickel is one of the cash-strapped Communist-run country’s most important exports, but revenue from it has suffered in recent years due to a decline in production and prices. The country was ranked 10th in world nickel production in 2016 and sixth in cobalt.

Cuba produced on average 74,000 tonnes of nickel plus cobalt during the first decade of this century, but the oldest of three plants was shuttered in 2012 and another has suffered from obsolescence and hurricane damage. Cuban nickel industry executives told Reuters a year ago that the industry was averaging 56,000 tonnes per year.

The report Saturday evening from eastern Moa, Holguin province, where state monopoly Cubaniquel owns one plant and is joint venture partner with Canadian mining company Sherritt International in another, said both were on track to meet the goal of 54,500 tonnes.

“The Pedro Soto Alba plant plans to produce 36,000 tonnes … and at Che Guevara 19,500 tonnes,” said the report, which focused on efforts to lower costs in the face of low prices.

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