SOURCE: Sherritt International Corporation

Sherritt International Corporation

January 08, 2015 07:38 ET

Sherritt Announces December Production Update on Ambatovy Nickel Operation

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - January 08, 2015) -

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Sherritt International Corporation ("Sherritt" or the "Corporation") (TSX: S) announced today the December 2014 operational results for the Ambatovy Joint Venture.

Operating results attributable to Sherritt at a 40% ownership basis are summarized in the following table:

        December November October
  2014 2013 Change 2014 2014 2014
Production volumes
(tonnes - 40% basis)
           
Finished nickel 14,821 10,059 47% 1,302 1,108 1,554
Finished cobalt 1,166 833 40% 76 67 134

For the month of December, finished nickel production was 1,302 tonnes (3,254 tonnes, 100% basis), and finished cobalt production was 76 tonnes (189 tonnes, 100% basis). Finished nickel production increased 47% in 2014 compared to 2013 and increased 47% in the fourth quarter 2014 compared to the fourth quarter 2013. For the month of December, ore throughput in the PAL circuit was a record 417,412 tonnes (100% basis), or approximately 83% of nameplate capacity, and finished nickel production represented approximately 64% of nameplate capacity.

One autoclave in the PAL circuit returned to service in mid-December from its planned maintenance as anticipated. Planned maintenance activities for the refinery continued in early December, which partially impacted finished nickel volumes for the month.

Ambatovy's 2014 production was 37,053 tonnes which was in line with the 2014 guidance range. Planned maintenance is complete on four of the five PAL autoclaves and planned maintenance will commence on the fifth autoclave in February.

Sherritt remains focused on the ramp up of production at Ambatovy and is currently working towards the key milestone of reaching a production rate equivalent to 54,000 tonnes of nickel on an annualized basis (approximately 90% of nameplate capacity). The production rate is measured over 90 days in a 100 day continuous period and the target to achieve this milestone is mid-2015.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, future production forecasts for the Ambatovy Joint Venture. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking words like "plans", "targets", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will be taken", "occur", or "be achieved". There can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management of Sherritt as of the date such information is provided and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Key factors that may result in material differences between actual results and developments and those contemplated by this press release include business, economic and political conditions in Madagascar. Other such factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainties in the ramp-up of large mining, processing and refining projects; potential interruptions in transportation; political, economic and other risks of foreign operations; the Corporation's reliance on key personnel and skilled workers; the possibility of equipment and other unexpected failures; the potential for shortages of equipment and supplies; risks associated with mining, processing and refining activities; and other factors listed from time to time in the Corporation's continuous disclosure documents. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof and the Corporation undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. The forward-looking information contained herein is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement.

About Sherritt

Sherritt is a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel from lateritic ores with projects and operations in Canada, Cuba, and Madagascar. The Corporation is the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island. Sherritt licenses its proprietary technologies and provides metallurgical services to mining and refining operations worldwide. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "S".

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