Brazilian miner Vale said Monday its third-quarter iron ore fines production was 10.3% higher year on year at a record 104.9 million mt.
That was reflected in a new sales record for iron ore and pellets of 98.2 million mt in Q3, 4.7 million mt higher than the previous record in Q4 2017.
“Premium products made up 79% of total sales in Q3 and together with the consolidation of the differentiation strategy of Vale’s product portfolio resulted in contributions of quality and average premium to a realized price of iron ore fines of $8.6/mt in Q3 versus $7.1/mt in Q2 and $5.6/mt in Q3 2017,” Vale said in its production report.
Vale’s superior product portfolio with high iron content and low contaminants continued to improve. On average, iron content reached 64.0% in Q3 versus 63.8% in Q2, while alumina was at 1.2% in Q3 versus 1.3% in Q2 and silica was at 3.9% in Q3 versus 4.2% in Q2.
S11D had an important role in improving the share of premium products on sales, reaching another quarterly production record of 16.1 million mt in Q3, compared with 6.2 million in Q3 2017 and achieving a production rate of approximately 70% of its nominal capacity during the quarter.
“Annual production in 2018 will be towards the upper limit of the 50-55 million mt guidance,” Vale said.
Vale reaffirmed its iron ore production guidance of about 390 million mt for 2018 and about 400 million mt for 2019.
Vale achieved a quarterly pellet production record of 13.9 million mt, versus 12.8 million mt a year ago, mainly due to the successful ramp-up of the Tubarao I and II pellet plants.
According to the company, the year-to-date performance together with the restart of the Sao Luis pellet plant in Q3 will lead Vale to achieve its production guidance of 55 million mt mt in 2018 and 60 million mt in 2019.
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