Sherritt International reports higher annual nickel production at Cuban JV

Sherritt International (TSX: S) released its financial results for Q4 2018, today, reporting the company’s share of finished nickel production at the Moa joint venture (JV) in Cuba and Saskatchewan, Canada was 4,294 tonnes, up 4% from last year, while finished cobalt was 428 tonnes, down 8% from Q4 2017.

The company stated production for Q4 2018 was impacted by the disruption in the supply of hydrogen sulphide, a key reagent used in the production of finished nickel and cobalt at the refinery in Fort Saskatchewan. Q4 2018 marks the second consecutive quarter that the Moa JV has made distributions, indicative of improved nickel prices over the past several quarters.

Sherritt received C$6.7 million in distributions from the Moa JV in Q4 2018 for a total of C$11.9 million in distributions for FY2018. Q4 2018 marks the second consecutive quarter that the Moa JV has made distributions, indicative of improved nickel prices over the past several quarters.

Sherritt ended the year with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of C$207 million, up from C$203 million at the end of 2017.

“Sherritt ended 2018 with lower debt and more cash than we started the year with as a result of several initiatives designed to reduce expenses, buy back $130 million of outstanding debentures and improve production reliability at our operations,” said David Pathe, Sherritt’s president and CEO in a media statement.

“Although concerns of international trade disputes and the impacts of tariffs have resulted in recent commodity price volatility, we expect to sustain our momentum through 2019 and beyond by capitalizing on the strong market fundamentals and outlook for Class 1 nickel, completing drilling on Block 10, and identifying opportunities where we can bring innovations developed by our technologies group to market,” said Pathe.

At market close in Toronto on Thursday, Sherritt’s stock was up 2.35%.