LONDON MMC Norilsk Nickel produced less nickel in the second quarter than in the first three months of this year due to the short delivery of semi-products to some operations and the placement of its Lake Johnston project in Western Australia on care and maintenance.
Saleable nickel production in the second quarter totaled 67,814 tonnes, down 5 percent from 71,573 tonnes in the first quarter, putting first-half output at 139,387 tonnes, down 4 percent from a year earlier.
Nickel-in-concentrate production at Lake Johnston fell 29 percent to 1,174 tonnes in the first three months of the year, and first-half production was down 30 percent to 2,800 tonnes.
Short delivery of high-grade matte to the Moscow-based companys Kola MMC operation in Russia from its Polar division was caused by winter navigation terminating production earlier than usual. The company also said it made unscheduled repairs at its Oktyabrsky Mine and Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant.
Nickel in concentrate produced at the Nkomati project in South Africa and shipped to Harjavalta in Finland totaled 3,339 tonnes in the second quarter, up 26 percent from the first quarter, and the first-half total was up 50 percent from a year earlier to 5,990 tonnes. Norilsk owns 50 percent of Nkomati and reports volumes based on that share. The projects total production was 6,000 tonnes.
Second-quarter nickel production at Harjavalta fell to 9,224 tonnes, down 18 percent from the first quarter, and year-to-date output fell 2 percent to 20,474 tonnes.
Nickel-in-concentrate production at Tati Nickel in Botswana was down 13 percent in the second quarter to 1,912 tonnes and the first-half output was 25 percent lower at 4,103 tonnes due to lower nickel grades.
Norilsks copper production in the second quarter rose 4 percent from the first quarter to 94,622 tonnes, and first-half production also was 4 percent higher at 185,684 tonnes.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.