Vale Canadian copper production not enough to stop 2022 slide

Vale (NYSE:VALE) has released its 2022 fourth quarter and full year production numbers. To summarize, iron ore was 307.9 million tonnes (down […]
Vale’s global base metals headquarters is in Ontario. Vale photo

Vale (NYSE:VALE) has released its 2022 fourth quarter and full year production numbers. To summarize, iron ore was 307.9 million tonnes (down 1.6%), iron pellets output was 31.7 million tonnes (up 1.3%), nickel was 179,100 tonnes (up 6.4%), and copper was 253,100 tonnes (down 14.7%). 

The notable drop in copper output occurred despite higher Canadian production levels. The largest gains were at Thompson, Man., where output rose twelve-fold to 5,300 tonnes due to the recovery of copper from precipitates. Production also rose in Sudbury, Ont., by 28.1% to 59,200 tonnes as the mining operations stabilized, said Vale. Output from the Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador was 10,800 tonnes, a drop of 46.8% as the new underground mine ramps up.

The other major metal of Vale’s Canadian operations is nickel. The Sudbury mines produced 39,000 tonnes (up 21.1%), reaching the highest level (18,200 tonnes) in the fourth quarter since the second quarter 2019. Mines at Thompson produced 9,900 tonnes (up 65.0%). Nickel output at Voisey’s Bay was 24,400 tonnes (down 36.1%). Scheduled maintenance at the Long Harbour refinery in Newfoundland affected output from the latter two mining operations.

Vale does not produce iron ore or pellets in Canada. The company also gave finished production for by-products. These include cobalt at 2,400 tonnes (down 3.5%); platinum at 102,000 oz. (up 29.1%); palladium at 127,000 oz. (up 29.6%); and gold at 289,000 oz. (down 20.6%)

The complete press release containing further details is posted on the Vale website.

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