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Vale's Production Results For Q2-2012
= Compared to Q2-2011, nickel/cobalt up while Mn ore/alloys down =
Vale of Brazil released on July 18 results of production and sales during the second quarter (April - June) of 2012. Excerpts covering the production results of manganese ore, ferroalloys, nickel and cobalt are as per the table attached hereto.

Compared to the first quarter of 2012, production during the second quarter of all the items except nickel was up, but compared to the same quarter of last year, manganese ore and alloys were down.

(1) Manganese ore: Production was 584,000 tons (of ore) during the quarter, up 20.6% from the preceding quarter, thanks to the improved output at Azul mine, Brazil, Vale's biggest manganese ore operation, as the rainy season ended. However compared to the same quarter of 2011, output was down 4.6% due to partly inefficient operation at the processing plant. At Urucum mine, output increased 22.1% from the preceding quarter due to the improved operation in the underground mine. At Moro da Mina mine, output increased only 3% from the preceding quarter due to the worsened stripping ratio.

(2) Manganese-group ferroalloys: Production was 109,000 tons of the alloys during the quarter, up 2.7% from the preceding quarter, but down 4.4% from the year-ago quarter, mainly due to the maintenance work at the Brazilian units. Production in Dunkerque (France) improved on the demand recovery for HCFeMn, and at Mo I Rana (Finland) also production increased from better operational efficiency. Vale announced on July 10 that it signed an agreement to sell these units, Dunkerque and Mo I Rana, to Glencore for US$160 million.

More details about Vale's ferroalloy production in the quarter are as follows, silico-manganese: 59,800 tons, high-carbon ferromanganese: 43,400 tons, medium-carbon ferromanganese: 5,900 tons.

(3) Nickel: Total quarterly production was 60,900 tons (of nickel content), down 3.6% from the preceding quarter, mostly because of lower-than-expected output at Sudbury (17,400 tons, down 22.6% from the preceding quarter) due to the safety assessment plus the maintenance work advanced from the July- September quarter. At Voisey's Bay, production was slightly up from the Q1-2012, but was negatively affected by the maintenance stoppage at Sudbury. At VNC (New Caledonia), operation is stopped due to the incident at the acid plant, and is to resume only in the Q4 of 2012. Soroako (Indoesia) increased production by 36.3%, as a result of ramp-up. At Onca Puma (Brazil), the two furnaces that have been off-line due to the run-outs in May and June will not be able to restart operation in the coming several months.

(4) Cobalt: Production (of contained cobalt) as a by-product from nickel operations was 693 tons, up 17.0 % from the preceding quarter. The deficit at Sudbury was compensated by the increase in VNC, whose operations have been shutdown since May as mentioned above. The company expects no cobalt production at VNC in the Q3-2012.
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last modified : Wed 25 Jul, 2012 [10:46]
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