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Vale Copper Production in 1Q15: A Quarterly Historical Record

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Apr. 30 2015, Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

Copper production

Vale (VALE) copper production in 1Q15 totaled 104,600 tons. That’s up 1.5% over 4Q14 and 21.7% over 1Q14. This is a quarterly production record for Vale. Vale has copper operations in three main regions. In this part of our series, we’ll discuss Vale’s copper production results by region.

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Brazilian operations

Vale operates the Sossego and Salobo mines in Brazil:

  • Sossego’s copper production in 1Q15 totaled 27,100 million tons—1% more than in 4Q14 and 3.3% more than in 1Q14.
  • Salobo’s production of copper in 1Q15 totaled 35,300 tons. This is a new production record for the operation and can be attributed to the ongoing ramp-up of the Salobo II mine. Despite less production in January and February, Salobo’s output in March reached 14,200 tons.

Canadian operations

In Canada, Vale operates mines in Sudbury and Voisey’s Bay. Sudbury produced 25,300 tons, and Voisey produced 7,500 tons. Voisey’s Bay production was 34.4% lower than in 4Q14, mainly due to unplanned maintenance in January.

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African operations

Vale’s Zambian joint venture, Lubambe, is ramping up and delivered a total of 6,400 tons of copper in concentrates. Of this total, 2,600 tons are attributable to Vale.

Comparable results

Teck Resources (TCK) reported its first-quarter results on April 21. The company’s copper volumes were less than expected in 1Q15, mainly due to the timing of shipments. Southern Copper (SCCO) is expected to report in late April. Freeport-McMoRan is due to announce its first-quarter results on April 23, 2015. FCX forms 4.1% of the SPDR Metals and Mining ETF (XME), which invests in diversified metals and mining companies.

For more on Vale’s copper operations, read Vale SA: The iron ore giant deconstructed.

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