French-miner Eramet produced 918,000wmt of nickel ore in the Jan-March quarter, up by 5pc from the prior-year period. Exports rose by 41pc to 331,000wmt with a limited impact of COVID-19 on the company’s activities.
Eramet’s production ramp-up at Indonesian Weda Bay nickel plant is also on schedule. The plant is a joint venture with Tsingshan and is expected to start operations in the first half of 2020, with the furnaces being currently heated.
Nickel was in oversupply globally in the first three months by approximately 60,000mt on low demand from stainless steel producers in China due to the spread of COVID-19, according to Eramet.
The miner has requested permission from New Caledonia authorities in April, to export 2mn mt of low-grade nickel ore annually in addition to their current allowance of exporting 4mn mt of ore in a bid to offset losses in energy costs.