Brazil-based Vale reported increased production of iron ore and nickel in the third quarter, while nickel and copper production declined due to labour disruptions.
Iron ore production was up by 18.1% to 89.4 million tonnes, due to better weather in the Northern System, increased production at the Vargem Grande dry processing plant, and Itabira’s improved performance, Vale said.
However, due to the low prices of iron ore, Vale is considering a slowdown in ore production in the fourth quarter by 4Mt. this will bring yearly production to the median of the projected 315-335Mt.
If low prices continue, it may cut back iron ore production in 2022 by 12 to 15Mt, it said. Pellet production totalled 8.3Mt in the third quarter, similar to second-quarter numbers, due to stalled availability in Itabira and Brucutu.