Cuban nickel industry shuttered as Hurricane Matthew looms
October 3, 2016
By Marc Frank
HAVANA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Cuba’s two nickel processing plants were
temporarily shut down on Monday, state-run media said, as powerful
Hurricane Matthew threatened the eastern part of the Caribbean island,
where the country’s top export earning industry is located.
State-run television on Monday, reporting on a meeting of Cubaniquel,
the state-run nickel monopoly, said, “The principal objective is to
avoid serious damage and later carry out a smooth reopening of the
The industry is located in Moa, Holguin province, where Cubaniquel owns
one plant and is a joint venture partner with Canadian mining company
Sherritt International in another.
Matthew is forecast to pass well east of Holguin but it is a huge storm
and strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected. Flooding is forecast
after the storm crosses the island and then bends westward.
Cubaniquel said in June it planned to produce 56,000 tonnes of unrefined
nickel plus cobalt this year.
Cuba is one of the world’s largest nickel producers and supplies 10
percent of the world’s cobalt, according to the Mining and Energy Ministry.
Nickel is essential in the production of stainless steel and other
corrosion-resistant alloys. Cobalt is critical in production of super
alloys used for such products as aircraft engines.
Cuban nickel is considered to be Class II with an average 90 percent
Cuba’s National Minerals Resource Center reported the country, in
particular Holguin province, had about one-third of the world’s known
(Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Bill Trott)
Source: Cuban nickel industry shuttered as Hurricane Matthew looms –