Vale said Wednesday it remains optimistic about the long-term prospects for nickel. The short-term, however, is another matter.
The company’s third quarter “results represented a tipping point for the Base Metals business,” Eduardo Bartolomeo, executive officer for Vale’s Base Metals division, said in a release. “We are undergoing an important restructuring process led by our new management team with the focus on optimizing our operations, stabilizing our cost structure and reviewing mine plans.
“We are creating the basis for the nickel business to generate strong cash flows in any price scenario, while keeping the optionality to capture the upside of emerging demand for nickel in electric vehicles.” Part of that restructuring has led to mine closures and job cuts in Sudbury and Thompson, Man.
In the near term, Vale said the outlook for nickel “remains cautious as current inventories will act as a buffer to price recovery. Meanwhile, macroeconomic factors such as the ongoing trade dispute between major powers introduce volatility to the base metals price complex, nickel included.
“Our long-term outlook for nickel continues to be positive. Nickel in electric vehicle batteries will become an increasingly important source of demand growth particularly as battery chemistry (favours) higher nickel content due to lower cost and higher energy density.
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