SÃO PAULO Vale SAs copper production rose sharply in the first quarter thanks to increased output at its Sossego and Sudbury projects.
Production totaled 90,000 tonnes, up 23 percent from 73,000 tonnes in the first three months of last year, according to the companys quarterly production report.
The Sossego project in Brazil, Vales largest copper project, produced 28,000 tonnes in the first quarter, up 10.3 percent from the same period last year, while output at Sudbury, Ontario, rose 9.7 percent to 26,000 tonnes. But output at Voiseys Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador fell 3.5 percent to 11,000 tonnes in the same comparison.
The company expects production to increase in the coming quarters as three projectsSalobo, Lubambe and Tres Vallesare in the process of ramping up.
Salobo projects I and II in northern Brazil produced 11,000 tonnes in the first quarter from nominal annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate.
Lubambe, in the Zambian copperbelt, reported output of 2,000 tonnes from a nominal annual capacity of 45,000 tonnes. Lubambe is funded by a joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals.
Chilean operation Tres Valles produced 4,000 tonnes in the first quarter, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.