Vale large nickel projects

Vale recently announced the successful commissioning of its two large nickel projects namely Vale New Caledonia and Onça Puma.  After VNC’s continuous operation of the High Pressure Acid Leaching unit 2 for 3 weeks and achieving the stability criteria, production will now shift back to HPAL 1 and HPAL 3 following a predetermined and sustainable ramp up profile.  The commissioning phase is almost complete, with repairs and design changes of part of the refinery’s internal columns being made. The resulting nickel solution from HPAL has been transformed into an intermediate product, Nickel Hydroxide Cake, which is being sold to clients.  This marks the beginning of the production cycle of the upstream units of VNC while the repairs and design changes of part of the solvent extraction columns internals at the refinery will be carried out until the end of 2010.  In relation to Onça Puma, the commissioning phase will be completed by the end of September 2010 and will be followed by the beginning of the ramp up period in October 2010. Commercial production is expected to commence in January 2011

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