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Sherritt cuts production forecast for Moa nickel JV after bridge collapse

Nov 29 Sherritt International Corp cut its full-year production forecast for its joint nickel venture in Cuba following the collapse of a municipal bridge there last week that killed four workers.

The Canadian miner lowered its finished nickel production forecast for the Moa operation to 32,500-33,000 tonnes, from 33,500-34,500 tonnes.

However, Sherritt said that its finished cobalt production forecast remained unchanged as higher volumes of third-party feed offset the impact of reduced production.

Sherritt owns 50 percent of the Moa operation with General Nickel Company SA of Cuba.

Last week, Sherritt said the workers had died when the bridge they were repairing collapsed. The bridge had been damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October and workers have been repairing the structure since late last month.

The bridge crosses a shallow river and is the main access from the local town and port of Moa to the mine site and an acid leach plant.

Sherritt said on Tuesday that a temporary bypass over the river is in place.

Plant operations have resumed, although transport is affected by longer travel times and the need to carry lighter loads, Sherritt said.

The Toronto-based company said that the timing of more permanent repairs to the damaged bridge or a replacement of the bridge is still unknown.

Shares of Sherritt were down 9.3 percent at C$1.17 in late afternoon trading. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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