Vale will review its guidance for nickel and copper for the year, due to uncertainties over the labor situation at its Ontario, Canada project, and the ramp-up of safety and maintenance processes in Sossego and Salobo mines, Brazil.
However, iron ore production is expected to remain within the miner’s original guidance range of 315-335mn mt this year.
Operations at the mine in Sudbury, Canada, suffered an interruption in June after production and maintenance employees rejected the company’s offer of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement twice.
In Brazil, ore extraction was reduced due to security measures implemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited the mobilization of contractors with only critical maintenance work carried out at the Sossego mill.
The Brazilian miner’s iron ore production in H1 2021increased by 13pc to 144mn mt from 127mn mt during the same period last year and grew by 12pc to 75.6mn mt in Q2 2021 from 67.5mn mt in the same prior-year quarter.
Its iron pellet production, increased by 13pc in the first half of 2021 to 14.2mn mt from 13.9mn mt in H1 2020 and by 12pc in the second quarter to 8mn mt from 7mn mt in Q2 2021.
Vale’s global copper production decreased by 16.1pc in H1 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, to 150,100mt from 179,000mt, the company reported in its semi-annual report today. The red metal’s production decreased by 13pc to 73,500mt in the second quarter from 84,500mt in the same quarter last year.
Nickel production also decreased by 12pc in the first half to 89,900mt from 102,200mt in H1 2020. In Q2 2021the metal’s production fell by 15.3pc to 41,500mt from 49,000mt in Q2 2020.
Between H1 2021 and H1 2020, Vale reported a 19.1pc growth in its iron ore sales to 126mn mt against 106mn mt. In Q2, sales rose by 23.1pc to 67mn mt from 54mn mt in the same prior-year quarter.
Pellet sales fell by 2.4pc in H1 2021 to 13.9mn mt from 14mn mt in the same period last year but increased by 10pc in Q2 2021 to 7.6mn mt from 6.9mn mt in Q2 2020.
Vale’s nickel sales increased by 28.6pc from January-June 2021 to 95,400mt from 74,200mt in the same period last year and were up 26.4pc to 47,400mt in Q2 against 37,500mt in the same quarter of 2020.
Copper sales dropped by 15.8pc in H1 2021 to 145,400mt from 172,700mt in H1 2020 and declined by 11pc to 74,200mt in Q2 2021 from 83,400mt in the same quarter last year.