Brazilian miner Vale SA said it produced 88.2 million tonnes of iron ore in the third quarter, an all-time high for the company, as it continues to raise output into an already oversupplied market.
Despite the new record, the worldâ€™s No. 1 iron ore miner also suspended higher-cost mining operations accounting for about 13 million tonnes of annual production.
They will largely be replaced by ore coming onstream from new lower-cost mines in a move to improve profit margins in the face of weak global iron ore prices.
The companyâ€™s record production keeps up pressure on Australian rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto who are engaged in a battle for market share as an iron ore price slump forces smaller producers to close. The price of iron ore has fallen to $52.50 per tonne from a high of nearly $200 in 2011.
Vale said it also produced 71,600 tonnes of nickel and 2.05 million tonnes of coal in the period.