[ferro-alloys.com]Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt”, the “Corporation”, the “Company”) (TSX: S), a world leader in the mining and hydrometallurgical refining of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores, reported its financial results for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2019. All amounts are in Canadian currency unless otherwise noted.
The Moa JV produced 4,139 tonnes of finished nickel in Q3 2019, down 7% from 4,457 tonnes produced in Q3 2018. The Moa JV produced above normal production totals in Q3 2018 due to the increased availability of mixed sulphides at the refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Earlier in 2018, mixed sulphides supply had been negatively impacted by the disruption of rail transportation services in Canada, and considerable efforts were made to process the subsequent backlog of refinery feed in Q3 2018. On a year-to-date basis, the Moa JV has produced 12,505 tonnes of finished nickel and 1,277 tonnes of finished cobalt, up 13% and 7%, respectively, from the same nine-month period of 2018. Higher production for 2019 is due to the benefits of a number of operational excellence initiatives aimed at improving mining equipment reliability and ore access.
Production in Q3 2019 was affected by an unscheduled maintenance shutdown at the refinery that resulted in approximately 320 tonnes of lost finished nickel production. Efforts are underway to recover the production shortfall, and the Moa JV expects to achieve its production guidance for 2019. Finished cobalt production for Q3 2019 was 436 tonnes, down 6% from Q3 2018. The nickel to cobalt ratio in mixed sulphides produced at Moa in Q3 2019 is consistent with historical norms.