Global nickel smelting rebounds as Sudbury operations restart

The Big Nickel at Science North, Sudbury. Photo by Phil Harvey, Wikimedia Commons.

Global nickel smelting activity rebounded in November, powered by gains in North America and Europe, while refined copper production dipped, data from satellite surveillance showed on Monday.

Nickel output climbed due to the restart of Vale’s Sudbury smelter in Canada while the easing of a power crunch lifted activity in China, satellite service SAVANT and broker Marex said in a statement.

Earth-i, which specialises in geospatial data, uses satellites to track up to 90% of global smelting capacity for copper and nickel.

Under SAVANT’s dispersion index, 50 points indicate smelters are operating at the average level of the last 12 months. It also has a second index showing the percentage of active smelters.

Its global dispersion index for nickel rose to an average of 51.4 in November from 46.0 a month earlier, with the North American index hitting a record high and the European level touching a two-year peak.

Nickel Smelting Activity Rebounds in November.

In copper, the global dispersion index slipped to an average of 51.7 in November from 52.2 in October.

“Global smelting activity fell slightly in November as rises in China and North America were more than offset by falls in South America and Europe & Africa,” a statement said.

(By Eric Onstad; Editing by Louise Heavens)


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