Glencore Xstrata Plc and Vale SA are considering
combining their Sudbury, Ontario, nickel operations.
theres been a potential deal. I wouldnt get too
excited. Lets wait and see," a source close to Glencore
Xstrata told AMM sister publication Metal
An eventual deal could
involve the sale of assets from one company to the other.
The global nickel
market is facing tough times as a large percentage of nickel
capacity is unprofitable at current prices. The London Metal
Exchanges three-month nickel contract ended the official
session at $13,975 per tonne Oct. 15, down 25.1 percent from
this years $18,665 peak on Feb. 4.
This recently led
Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore Xstrata to halt its Falcondo
nickel mine in the Dominican Republic (
amm.com, Oct. 3).
Other companies have
also announced shutdowns, including Votorantim Metais Ltda.,
which recently ended its nickel matte operation in Fortaleza de
Rio de Janeiro-based
Vales output at Sudbury was 35,000 tonnes in the first
half, while Glencore Xstratas Sudbury operation produced
12,700 tonnes of nickel in concentrates for the period. The
latter operation was rebranded Sudbury Integrated Nickel
Operations after Glencore bought Xstrata.
If the nickel projects
at Sudbury were integrated, it wouldnt be the first
team-up between Vale and Glencore.
In July 2012, Glencore
acquired Vales manganese alloy assets in Europe and
became the Brazilian miners agent for manganese ore.
Vale declined to
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.