Indonesia unit of Inco likely to meet 06 nickel goal

Indonesia unit of Inco likely to meet 06 nickel goal

The Indonesian unit of Canada’s Inco Ltd. said on Wednesday it was likely to meet this year’s nickel matte output target of 158 million pounds after rain helped replenish hydro-power reserves.

PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk , said last week it may have to cut nickel matte production from Dec. 20 as dry weather had caused low reservoir levels at its hydro-electric power plant.

Arif Siregar, PT Inco’s president director, said water levels were now increasing following rain over the past couple of days.

“Rains have fallen in the last two days and the water level is not coming down as much as we had predicted. So we have decided not to reduce the target,” Siregar told Reuters.

PT Inco has set this year’s production target at 71,000 tonnes or between 157 million and 158 million pounds of nickel-in-matte.

PT Inco, which is owned by Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce through Inco Ltd., has said production runs at between 1,400 and 1,500 tonnes a week.

Nickel-in-matte is an intermediary product from a smelter that must be further refined to make pure metal.

Nickel for delivery in three months hit a new high of $34,950 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange on Dec. 15, and was quoted at $33,600 a tonne at 0743 GMT on Wednesday.

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