Samarco’s Q3 pellet production falls 3%

Brazil’s Samarco, the 50:50 pelletizing joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton, saw its pellet output drop by 3% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012.

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The company produced 5.76 million tonnes of pellets from June to September, against 5.94 million tonnes for the corresponding period a year earlier.

Compared to the second quarter of this year, however, third-quarter output increased by 1%, from 5.7 million tonnes.

Between January and September, Samarco’s pellet production came to 16.88 million tonnes. But pellet shipments dropped both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter.

Shipments were at 5.24 million tonnes in the third quarter, down by 10.2% compared with the corresponding period last year, and by 5.4% over the second quarter of 2012.

Pellet shipments totalled 15.68 million tonnes between January and September.

These figures were based on BHP Billiton’s third-quarter production report, which shows data which correlates to its 50% attributable production and sales at Samarco.

BHP Billiton noted that Samarco’s project to commission a fourth pelletizing line is 59% complete.

With the addition of this new plant, Samarco will increase its pellet output by 8.3 million tpy to 30.5 million tpy in the first half of 2014.