Ambatovy Ni Project to Start Commercial Output in March

Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar will start commercial production in March, which is one of the world largest nickel project. Sumitomo Corporation has joined in the development. The first shipment is expected to arrive at Japan in May. The project is to produce nickel at 60,000 tonnes per year. The operating rate is expected to reach more than 70% within this year and 90% in March 2013.

Mr. Kuniharu Nakamura, Sumitomo Corp’s senior managing executive officer and general manager of the Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit, explained at a corporate strategy meeting at the company on Thursday that the unit assigns the highest priority to launch commercial production at Ambatovy and expects for the profit generation from the project in 2013.

Mr. Akira Takeuchi, Sumitomo Corp’s executive officer and general manager of the Mineral Resources Division No.2, explained Ambatovy project has already entered continuous production of mixed oxide, the intermediate product, and will reach production of the end item in March.

Sumitomo Corp acquired 27.5% stake in Ambatovy project in 2005, which was to develop a large-scale nickel and cobalt mine. The construction works had delayed due to local situations but recently completed and the test operation finished. The project is presently under the final phase to start commercial output.