Brazil's Vale Iron Ore Production Up 11% in Quarter

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Brazilian mining giant Vale SA said Thursday its output of iron ore hit a record for the first quarter as its massive S11D mine in the Amazon continued to ramp up.

Vale, the world's largest producer of iron ore and nickel, said its production of the former rose 11% in the January-March period from a year earlier to 86.2 million metric tons.

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The company's nickel output fell 2.9% year-on-year to 71,400 metric tons due to maintenance stoppages. Problems at Vale's smelter in Thompson, Canada, such a "hot metal leak" that caused a 10-day loss of production, also contributed.

With markets for iron ore and other commodities struggling to recover from a crash in 2015 and 2016, Vale has said it will restrain supply to support prices if necessary. The company has reduced its long-term production target for iron ore to 400 million tons per year, down from 450 million tons, starting in 2018.

Vale on Thursday reiterated its 2017 guidance for producing between 360 million and 380 million tons of the steelmaking raw material.

Write to Paul Kiernan at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 20, 2017 09:31 ET (13:31 GMT)