October 15, 2018 / 12:07 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Vale third-quarter iron ore output hits all-time high

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SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Iron ore output at Brazilian miner Vale SA, the world's largest iron ore producer, reached a record in the third quarter, boosted by the ramp-up of its S11D project in the Amazonian state of Pará.

In a securities filing on Monday, Vale said iron ore output jumped 10.3 percent from the year before to 104.945 million tonnes, while pellet output rose 8.7 percent to 13.878 million tonnes. Ore sales also touched a new high at 84.0 million tonnes.

Iron ore production at the S11D and Carajás projects grew nearly 20 percent to a record 53.9 million tonnes, accounting for most of the increase.

The company maintained its guidance for iron ore production of around 390 million tonnes in 2018 and 400 million tonnes from 2019 onwards.

Nickel output, however, dropped 23.4 percent to 55.7 thousand tonnes, while sales declined 19.6 percent to 57.3 thousand tonnes.

Vale has struggled over its presence in the nickel segment, where prices have yet to pick up because of oversupply, despite the metal’s key role in lithium-ion batteries that are used in electric cars. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski in São Paulo and Marta Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro Writing by Bruno Federowski Editing by Frances Kerry)

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