Our Production Report for the third quarter of 2015 was released on this Monday, October 19. The document provides an overview of our operations in the period.
The highlight was the strong operating performance of iron ore 88.2 Mt, representing the highest quarterly production in the company history.
As part of our previously announced strategy, less efficient operations, including beneficiation plants in the Feijão, Jangada, Pico, Fabrica and Brucutu operations, totaling annual capacity of 13 Mt, were shut down in 3Q15. Nonetheless productivity gains in other operations partially offset the production stoppage at the above mentioned beneficiation plants. The iron ore volume acquired from third parties was also reduced in 3Q15.
Download our 3Q15 Production Report and read about our performance.
Iron ore and pellets
Iron ore production – excluding iron ore acquired from third parties and Samarco’s attributable production – of 88.2 Mt in 3Q15 was the highest quarterly production in Vale’s history. Production was 3.4% and 2.9% higher than in 2Q15 and 3Q14, respectively.
Carajás production reached 33.9 Mt in 3Q15, the highest for a third quarter and 2.3 Mt higher than in 2Q15 and 1.7 Mt higher than in 3Q14, mostly due to the ramp-up of the N4WS and N5S mines and the greater capacity utilization of Plant 2.
Vale's pellet production in 9M15, excluding Samarco's attributable production of 10.7 Mt, was 35.8 Mt - a historical record, driven by the start-up of the Tubarão 8 pellet plant and the good performance of the Oman, Fabrica and Vargem Grande pellet plants.
Our iron ore mines are concentrated in Brazil, where we also operate pelletizing plants. We have two pelletizing plants in Oman and stakes in pellet production joint ventures in China.
Nickel production reached 71,600 t in 3Q15, 6.7% higher than in 2Q15 as a result of the better performance of the operations in Indonesia and New Caledonia after the maintenance shutdowns in 2Q15.
We have nickel mines and operations in Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and New Caledonia. We also have refineries – solely owned and through joint ventures – in China, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.
Coal production reached 2.1 Mt in 3Q15, 2.0% higher than in 2Q15, as a result of the good performance of Moatize, which produced 1.322 Mt driven by improvements in the performance of the coal processing plant.
We are present in Australia and Mozambique, the two countries that are set to contribute most to growth in global coal supply in the coming years. We also have stakes in two joint ventures in China.
Copper production reached 99,300 t in 3Q15, 5.3% lower than in 2Q15 as a result of the planned maintenance shutdowns in Sudbury, Canada.
We produce copper in Brazil, Canada and Zambia. Our Brazilian operations are located in Carajás, where they benefit from our pre-existing logistics infrastructure for transporting iron ore.
Potash production totaled 125,000 t in 3Q15, 11.7% higher than in 2Q15, after the corrective maintenance stoppage carried out in 2Q15.
Phosphate Rock Phosphate rock production was 1.0 Mt in 3Q15, 11.4% and 17.6% lower than in 2Q15 and 3Q14, respectively, due to: (i) lower production of phosphate rock in Araxá as a result of the production stoppage in Guará, and (ii) the production stoppage in the Patos de Minas Unit for balancing the supply chain of SSP.
We produce fertilizer production inputs in Brazil and Peru. We are also developing projects in Mozambique and Canada.