Production at Glencore’s Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia has been temporarily halted due to a metal leak, Glencore has confirmed.

"On Friday, December 26, a metal leak was detected on the number 1 furnace of Koniambo Nickel’s metallurgical plant,” a Glencore spokesman told Metal Bulletin.

“In compliance with current safety procedures, the internal operations plan (POI) was triggered. The initial assessment by the team has shown there is no major structural damage, with most of the impact contained in the metal tapping area of DCF1. The rest of the operation is in a steady state. However, production remains on hold,” the Glencore spokesperson said.

Glencore confirmed there were no injuries or environmental impact.

“Koniambo is working closely with the relevant authorities and its key stakeholders. A further update will be issued as appropriate,” the spokesman added.

Koniambo, which is in the early stages of ramping up, produced 4,100 tonnes of nickel in the first half of this year, up from 1,400 tonnes in the full year of 2013.

In August, the company put 2014 production guidance at 10,000-18,000 tonnes

At the time, the company expected the project to produce 25,000-40,000 tonnes in 2015, down from an estimated 55,000 tonnes in September 2013.

Fleur Ritzema
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB