Vale on Monday released its Q3 production report, according to which the Brazilian mining giant is on pace to meet at least the bottom end of its iron ore production target for 2022 — barring any unforeseen event between now and the end of the year.
In Q3, Vale produced 89.7 million tons of ore, a 1.1-percent bump from the same period last year. Year-to-date production has topped 226.9 million tons, just 83 million tons shy of the lower end of the 310-320 million-ton target band. Markets do not expect that to be a problem as Q4 tends to favor the extraction of iron ore due to lower rainfall.
Per Vale, the increase in overall production between July and September was due to an improvement in production in mines in the South and Southeast regions, which saw output increase by more than 25 percent.
This advance was enough to compensate for the 6.4-percent drop in iron ore extraction from the mines in southeastern Pará, an Amazonian state. The decline in the region was due to the lower availability of ROM (raw ore without processing) in the Serra Norte Complex due to slower licensing processes.
The report also noted that Vale closed Q3 with an annual production of 23.8 million tons of iron pellets. In order to meet its minimum target for the year, 34 million tons, in Q4 Vale will have to produce well above the averages of the first three quarters.
The company has also produced 131,800 metric tons of nickel since January, with a yearly target for 2022 ranging from 175,000 to 190,000 metric tons. In Q3 2022, extraction increased by 71.5 percent.
Vale has produced 186,800 metric tons of copper in 2022 so far, against a goal of 270,000-285,000 metric tons for the entire year.