Vale SA is back. After enduring a one-year strike at its
Sudbury and Port Colborne, Ontario, operations, the Brazilian
company has returned in force to the American market, easing
supply pressures and leading to a severe drop in premiums. The
company had total estimated output of 144,000 tonnes of nickel
in 2010, ranking it third among world producers.
Dudinka, Russia-based MMC Norilsk Nickel still heads the
list, producing 299,500 tonnes in 2010, up 5.8 percent from
283,000 tonnes the previous year. It currently supplies about
half of the nickel in the U.S. market, according to market
China's Jinchuan Group Ltd. has been climbing the list by
aggressively pursuing acquisitions. Even though China is a net
importer of nickel, the company is selling into the U.S. market
due to the higher premiums it can receive here and because the
Chinese market largely takes nickel pig iron supplies.
Sherritt International Corp. is set to more than double its
16,700-tonne output this year as it ramps up production at its
Ambatovy Mine in Madagascar.
|(in thousands of tonnes)
|MMC Norilsk Nickel
|BHP Billiton Ltd.
|Jinchuan Group Ltd.
|Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.
|Anglo American Plc
|Pacific Metals Co.
|Minara Resources Ltd.
|Sherritt International Corp.