TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Corp said on Thursday it expects its Ambatovy nickel-cobalt project in Madagascar to run at about a 50 percent utilisation rate in the January-March quarter, rising to 80 percent from April.
The trading house said last week that the project had resumed operations from end-January after halting operations earlier in the month due to cyclone damage.
For the year to March 31, Ambatovy is expected to produce 33,400 tonnes of nickel, down from 40,500 tonnes a year earlier, Sumitom Corp general manager Hiroyuki Sugai told a news conference.
Sumitomo owns a 47.7 percent stake in Ambatovy, while Canada's Sherritt International Corp and South Korea's Korea Resources Corp also hold stakes in the project.
$1 = 109.5600 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Richard Pullin