This Morning in Metals: Vale announces plan to resume operations at Voisey’s Bay mine

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This morning in metals news: Vale has announced a plan to resume operations at the Voisey’s Bay mine in Canada; U.S. imports of blooms, billets and slabs have surged in recent months; and Hindalco plans to sell a majority of its output outside of India this year.

Vale plans to resume operations at Voisey’s Bay

Brazilian miner Vale announced it plans to resume operations at the Voisey’s Bay mine in Canada, which produces nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate and copper concentrate.

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“Vale informs that it has moved from care and maintenance into a planned maintenance period at the Voisey’s Bay Mine in Labrador, Canada as a first step to resuming operations in early July,” Vale said Thursday. “This includes restarting critical path activities related to the Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion Project.

“The planned return to production follows a period of three months of monitoring progress and events associated with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Production is expected to resume early July and to reach full capacity by early August.”

U.S. imports of blooms, billets and slabs surge

U.S. imports of blooms, billets and slabs (carbon and alloy) saw a significant uptick in the March-May months, according to data from the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.

Imports of blooms, billets and slabs from Japan increased 1,513% during the March-May period compared with the monthly average from June 2019-February 2020. Imports of the same products from Brazil saw a 105% increase.

Hindalco looks to export market

India’s Hindalco plans to sell approximately two-thirds of its output abroad this year, Bloomberg reported, amid struggling demand in India.

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Managing Director Satish Pai was quoted by Bloomberg as saying the firm expects to sell 75-80% of its total output to overseas customers in the second quarter.

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