Brazilian miner Vale SA reported on Tuesday a 5.8% year-on-year increase in first-quarter iron ore production, boosted by its key S11D project.
The company produced 66.77 million tonnes of iron ore during the first three months of 2023, it said in a securities filing. Comparing with the previous quarter, iron ore output fell 17.4%.
Vale said the yearly growth was driven by a stronger operational performance at its S11D mine in northern Brazil and lower rainfall in the state of Minas Gerais.
Sales volumes for the ore used to manufacture steel meanwhile reached 45.86 million tonnes, 10.6% lower than a year earlier.
The gap between sales and production was a result of port loading restrictions, as rains impacted its stockpile formation, and unscheduled maintenance on port equipment, Vale said, also citing supply chain rebalancing after strong sales in the previous quarter.
The firm’s nickel output fell 10.5% to 41,000 tonnes in the quarter, while its sales volumes grew 2.8%.
Vale, one of the world’s largest miners, has previously signed contracts to supply nickel to major auto makers including Tesla and General Motors.
Copper output came in at 67,000 tonnes, a 1.1% increase from a year earlier.