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Supply of Nickel in 2014 to Be Strongly Supported by New Projects
=Production is planned to be increased by 5 new projects=
The Government of Indonesia implemented the export ban on nickel ore from January 12, and although the price of nickel rose a few days prior to implementation, the impact to the nickel market disappeared in a week or so after the implementation took place. This is because world's demand and supply balance for nickel is strongly anticipated to be in excess supply also in 2014, and supposing the Government of Indonesia continues the export ban on nickel ore, the feeling of tightness in the market is forecast to come up as early as 3 months later or as late as more than half a year later in some cases.

One of the factors which prop up the situation in excess supply is the production increase by several new nickel projects. The projects which have started a commercial production since a few years ago can't have a large-scale adjustment in production due to the recovery of the funds even if the market is in excess supply.

International Nickel Study Group (INSG) forecasts the world production volume of nickel in 2014 to be 1.9674 million tons (up by 3% from the prior year), and the production volume by new nickel projects is thought to comprise about 6% of the total.

New nickel projects during 2011 to 2013 and production plans for 2014 are as follows.

(1)Barro Alto Project (Brazil): The production has been ramped up since the year 2012, and went up to a level of 21,000 tons per annum. In 2013, No.1 production line had a full-scale operation, and No.2 production line was under the capacity being ramped up in the latter half of 2013. The production volume in 2014 is scheduled to be as is the case in 2013.

(2)Onca Puma Project (Brazil): The operation started in 2011, but was suspended from the beginning of the year 2013 to the period from July to September. The construction of a new electric furnace as part of renovation work on No.1 production line is going on, and the production volume is planned to be increased to a large extent in 2014.

(3)Koniambo Project (New Caledonia): The heatup of No.1 production line took place in the period from April to June in 2013. A full-scale operation will start in 2014.

(4)Vale New Caledonia (VNC) Project: The restoration of the solvent extraction facility (SX-EW) as one of the wet-type refining methods which broke down in June 2011 was completed in 2012, and a small-scale production was taking place. The full-scale production started in 2013, the production volume recovered and the drastic increase in production is planned for 2014.

(5)Taguang Tang Project (Myanmar): Although the production of ferro-nickel was targeted to be commenced in the period from July to September in 2012, the trial operation started in March 2013. The production volume during 2013 seems to have remained at a low level. No information is available about the production plan for 2014.

(6)Anbatovy Project (Madagascar): The operation plan was delayed by 6 months, and the production volume in 2012 stayed at a low level. From the year 2013, the full-scale production started and the shipment also started. The ore treatment in January 2014 made a record of the operational rate being 70% of full-scale operation (an average of 30 days).
last modified : Fri 14 Feb, 2014 [13:14]
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