South32’s payable nickel production decreased by 22%

According to South32, its Cerro Matoso payable nickel production decreased by 22% (or 4.5kt) to 16.1kt in the December 2020 half year as we commenced a major refurbishment of one of the furnaces in the December 2020 quarter.

The refurbishment is on-track to be completed, ahead of schedule, by the end of January 2021.

During the period South32 approved development of the Queresas and Porvenir project (Q&P project). The Q&P project comprises the development of 17Mt of Mineral Resources (46% Measured, 45% Indicated and 9% Inferred) of the total Mineral Resource estimate reported for Cerro Matoso in FY20 (Note 18).

The project is a high returning, low capital option that is expected to contribute to higher average ore feed grades over the next 6 years. Following its approval and the accelerated delivery timetable South32 has increased its FY21 and FY22 production guidance by 3% (to 34.6kt) and 13% (to 43.8kt) respectively.

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