HOTLINE: Glencore’s 1,400-tonne teacup

It sounds like a big teacup, although not compared with how big it was supposed to be.

It sounds like a big teacup, although not compared with how big it was supposed to be.

Since output from Glencore’s $6.3 billion Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia was described by nickel boss Kenny Ives as “a teacup of nickel”, Hotline has wondered exactly how big that teacup was.

Glencore announced this week that Koniambo produced 1,400 tonnes of nickel in ferro-nickel in 2013.

That’s down from an early 16,000-tonne guideline and a revised expectation of 4,000 tonnes.

It’s also just under the average weekly intake of nickel into London Metal Exchange warehouses in a five-day working week.

But its contents also weigh 250 times the contents of the world’s largest cup of tea when it was brewed in Sri Lanka in 2010.

The Glencore teacup would have a capacity of 156,164 litres.

But that would not be enough to hold Koniambo's future output. While it is still in its early stages of ramping up, it is expected to produce 34,000 tonnes of nickel this year; and this will rise to 55,000 tonnes in 2015.

editorial@metalbulletin.com



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