NEW YORK Madagascars Ambatovy nickel-cobalt project shipped its first nickel at the beginning of November.
"Ambatovys refined nickel successfully left the docks at the Port of Toamasina (on Nov. 6), representing the first shipment to be sold on the international market," the company said on its website.
"The first shipment of finished product is an important milestone for Ambatovy, just as it is for Madagascar. Nickel is expected to become the top export for the country," Ankorondrano, Madagascar-based Ambatovy president Mark Plamondon said.
Ambatovy expects its first cobalt to ship "shortly," it said.
David Pathe, president and chief executive officer of Sherritt International Corp., the largest stakeholder in the project, said during that companys third-quarter earnings call that the first nickel shipment from Ambatovy was imminent (amm.com, Nov. 1).
The project is expected to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,600 tonnes of cobalt at full capacity. It produced 2,370 tonnes of nickel and 165 tonnes of cobalt in the third quarter (amm.com, Oct. 31).
Ambatovy is a joint venture between Toronto-based Sherritt International Corp., Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp. and Seoul, South Korea-based Korea Resources Corp.