Lower prices for metals, including nickel, and the planned maintenance shutdown at its Sudbury operations, ate into Vale’s third-quarter revenues of its base metals division.
In a presentation Thursday, Vale said its base metals division generated US $778 million in the second quarter, but only $528 million in the most recent quarter.
“About 65 per cent of the decrease (in the third quarter) is related to the exogenous factor of lower prices of nickel, copper and cobalt, and 35 per cent mainly associated with Sudbury’s annual planned maintenance shutdown and its effects on lower by-product volumes and higher costs.”
Nickel is the key metal Vale mines in Sudbury. Vale has six mines, a mill, a smelter, a refinery and nearly 4,000 employees in Sudbury, making it the city’s largest employer. Besides nickel, Vale mines copper, cobalt, platinum group metals, gold and silver in Sudbury.
While nickel was selling for more than US$6 a pound earlier this year, it has been steadily dropping in recent months, and closed at $5.4907 a pound on Wednesday. Nickel price was just under $6.20 a pound in late August.
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