Cuba’s 2006 nickel output may not meet forecast
Wed Nov 1, 2006 1:39pm ET20
By Marc Frank
HAVANA, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Cuban unrefined nickel production may fall
short of the 76,700 planned for the year due to a 3,000-tonne shortfall
at one of three plants reported by joint venture partner Sherritt
International (S.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) this week.
Sherritt said the joint venture Pedro Sotto Alba plant operated with
state-owned Cubaniquel would produce 30,000 tonnes this year compared
with the 33,000 tonnes it usually ships to the venture’s Canada refinery.
“Taking into consideration process bottlenecks experienced in prior
quarters, full-year nickel production is expected to be approximately
30,000 tonnes,” Sherritt said of the joint venture in its third quarter
Sherritt also announced that plans to add 16,000 tonnes to the plant’s
capacity by 2008 had been postponed in favor of adding 4,000 tonnes by
2008, another 9,000 tonnes in 2009 and a final 3,000 tonnes in 2011.
Sherritt said cobalt output would be unchanged from 2005.
Cubaniquel operates two older plants in eastern Holguin province where
the joint venture is located, exporting the product mainly to Europe and
The three plants have operated at capacity for a number of years.
Cuba’s 2005 unrefined nickel plus cobalt production was similar to the
75,900 tonnes reported in 2004 with just a 1.1 percent increase forecast
for 2006, senior officials said at the close of 2005. Continued…
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