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Vale's Q2 thermal coal output falls 53% on year; Mozambique mine halted


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London — Brazilian mining giant Vale's second-quarter thermal coal production slumped 53% on the year to 585,000 mt as seaborne thermal coal demand was slashed by the coronavirus pandemic, the company said July 21.

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Thermal coal sales in the same period dropped 18% to 868,000 mt.

Vale which holds an 80.75% stake in the Moatize coal project in Mozambique, cut production back at Moatize, starting in April because of "demand constraints" and suspended it in June.

As the demand was relentlessly knocked, stocks at mines and ports swelled until they reached full capacity. Production loss of around 1 million mt was detailed in Q2.

The report said that while the current market conditions continued, additional temporary measures might be taken, meaning it was not possible to provide new coal production guidance for 2020.

Vale have also decided to postpone a three-month maintenance plan revamp, making it impossible to achieve a sustainable ramp-up of the operation by the end of 2020.

"Vale is ready to start the necessary revamp as soon as it can guarantee the inbound logistics of equipment and materials to the site, as well as ensure the required safety levels to its employees," the company said.