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Vedanta Resources posts YOY drop in Q2'17 copper, zinc production


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Vedanta Resources posts YOY drop in Q2'17 copper, zinc production

Vedanta Resources Plc posted a year-over-year drop in second-quarter production for fiscal 2017 for all three commodities — zinc, lead and silver — from its Indian zinc operations.

Refined zinc production fell 29% on a yearly basis to 150,000 tonnes, while refined lead production dropped 24% to 31,000 tonnes. Silver output slid 4% to about 3.5 million ounces.

On a quarterly basis, however, refined zinc production rose 47%, while refined lead gained 25%. Silver production improved 21%, according to an Oct. 10 release.

The quarter-over-quarter increase was mainly due to significantly higher production at the Rampura Agucha open cast mine, the company said.

At the international zinc operations, total production in the quarter dropped 38% year over year to 39,000 tonnes due to the Lisheen mine closing down in November 2015.

Production of salable iron ore in the quarter jumped 78% year over year to 1.5 million dry tonnes, while output of pig iron increased 27% to 192,000 dry tonnes mainly due to higher plant availability.

The Indian copper operations produced 97,000 tonnes of copper cathode in the quarter, a 3% improvement over the same period last year as output was affected by an unplanned outage for 10 days due to a boiler leakage at the smelter.

Copper production from Zambian operations dropped just 1% over the prior-year quarter to 47,000 tonnes due to lower output from the Nchanga and Konkola underground mines.

Total aluminum production for the quarter rose 27% on a yearly basis to 296,000 tonnes. Alumina production increased 8% year over year to 292,000 tonnes.

Vedanta said it expects to produce 1.4 million tonnes of alumina and 1.1 million tonnes of aluminum in fiscal 2017.

For the first half of the year, refined zinc production dropped 37% on a yearly basis to 252,000 tonnes, while refined lead production fell 22% to 55,000 tonnes. Silver production gained 5% to about 6.3 million ounces.

Zinc production from international operations dropped 38% to 82,000 tonnes.

Production of salable iron ore jumped to 4.7 million dry tonnes in the six months, from 1.0 million dry tonnes a year ago, while pig iron increased 16% year over year for "record production" of 372,000 tonnes.

At the Indian copper operations, copper cathode production was 3% better than the year-ago half at 198,000 tonnes.

Total copper production in the half improved 2% at the Zambian operations to 92,000 tonnes on a yearly basis.

Aluminum production was a record 541,000 tonnes in the half, a 17% year-over-year increase on the back of the ramp-up of the Jharsuguda-II and BALCO-II smelters.

Alumina production improved 5% to 567,000 tonnes due to the restart of the second stream of the Lanjigarh refinery.

In mid-September, S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Vedanta Resources to positive from stable, saying it expects the company's operating performance to improve on higher metal prices over the next six to nine months and ramp-up of its aluminum operations.

S&P Global Ratings and SNL Metals & Mining are both owned by S&P Global Inc.