London’s Vedanta Resources plc released production numbers for the second quarter and first half of 2016 yesterday, reporting a record aluminium output of 296,000 metric tons for the second quarter.
On the corporate side, highlights for the quarter included shareholder approval of the Vedanta/Cairn India merger, a deal that is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar year 2017. Also notable for the quarter is upgrades by Moody’s from B2 to B1, and from S&P from a stable outlook to a positive one.
Vedanta’s smelters continued to ramp up in the quarter, peaking at a production rate of 1.1 million metric tons per annum, aside from production during trial runs. According to the firm, the ramp up was slowed slightly due to pot outages at two smelters in the quarter. Additionally, the firm acquired coal supplies of six million metric tons per annum via government auctions for its wholly-owned power plants.
In the just-ended quarter, Vedanta produced 296,000 metric tons, a 27% increase year-on-year from last year’s total of 233,000 metric tons. Production for the first half of FY 2017 totaled 541,000 metric tons, a seventeen percent increase year-on-year over last year’s total of 464,000 metric tons.
Alumina production at Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery in the second quarter totaled 292,000 metric tons, an eight percent increase over last year’s total of 272,000 metric tons. Production for the first half of this year totaled 567,000 metric tons, a five percent improvement over last year’s first-half total of 541,000 metric tons.
“We have delivered a strong operational performance during the quarter,” opined Vedanta’s CEO Tom Albanese. “We have progressed on our ramp-up of aluminium and though we had some operational challenges, our full year volumes are not expected to be materially impacted. We achieved higher mined metal production at Zinc India and this upward trend is expected to continue in the second half. We are extremely pleased that shareholders have approved the proposed Vedanta Limited – Cairn India merger last month, and we expect the transaction to complete in the first quarter of CY2017. This is an important strategic step in simplifying the Group.”