Vale gets permission to open new plant

Vale SA, the second-biggest nickel producer, got permission to restart its New Caledonia plant.

The island archipelago’s Southern Province government granted permission to restart, Cory McPhee, a Vale spokesman in Toronto, said by e-mail today. He said he couldn’t provide more information. Processing operations there stopped after an acid solution spill, the company said May 8.

Vale, based in Rio De Janeiro, said in November that it planned to produce 40,000 metric tons of nickel this year at the New Caledonia site, formerly known as Goro, in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Nickel prices jumped as much as 56 percent this year after ore shipments were banned by Indonesia, the top miner. The global market will swing to a deficit in the second half of 2014, Macquarie Group Ltd. said last month.

Nickel for delivery in three months rose 1.6 percent to $19,200 a ton at 4:03 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, headed for a 2 percent decline this week. The metal fell as much as 0.5 percent earlier today. OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel in Russia is the largest producer.

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