Nickel output totalled 237,000 tonnes in 2012, compared with 242,000 tonnes in 2011.
Production in Q4 2012 amounted to 64,000 tonnes, a 6.6% fall from the same period in 2011.
The Brazilian mining company said production fall was “[...] a consequence of a longer than expected temporary suspension of mining operations in Sudbury (Canada) during 1Q12”.
“In 4Q12 finished nickel production significantly improved from 3Q12 (+31%), after scheduled maintenances were performed in most of the Sudbury and Thompson mines during the summer in the northern hemisphere– when demand for nickel is seasonally weak,” Vale said.
During the maintenance, a project called Challenging Ore Recovery, which involves lower operating costs, was implemented by the company...