Cerro Matoso in Colombia is a major world producer of ferronickel and has been operating for more than 30 years.
Cerro Matoso is an integrated nickel laterite mine and smelter located in the Córdoba area of northern Colombia, consisting of a truck and shovel open-cut mine and a processing plant. South32 owns 99.94 per cent of Cerro Matoso. Current and former employees own 0.02 per cent, with the balance of shares held in a reserve account following a buy-back.
Ore mined is blended with ore from stockpiles. The ore is then dried in rotary kilns and smelted in two electric arc furnaces where ferro nickel is produced.
Cerro Matoso has a water management system that allows it to recycle 95 per cent of the water used in operations.
- 1956 - Nickel deposit was discovered
- 1981 - San Isidro Foundation (Cerro Matoso Foundation was created)
- 1982 - Ferronickel production started
- 2000 - Second production line starts operating
- 2011 - Reconstruction of oven electric line 1 is performed
- 2012 - Company donated the hospital for the municipalities of Upper San Jorge: Montelíbano, La Apartada and San José de Uré
- 2012 - National government grants mining concessions until 2029
- 2013 - Company signed with the Colombian Government of the Alto San Jorge, the most important agreement in the country, in order to improve the quality of life for the locals of the Alto San Jorge region, south of Córdoba, where the company operates
Ricardo Gaviria - Vice President Operations, Cerro Matoso
Ricardo Gaviria is a civil engineer with 30 years’ experience in the natural resources industry. His previous position was President of Minas Paz Del Rio S.A., a coal operation in Colombia belonging to Votorantim group.
During Ricardo’s more than 25 years' with Cerrejon, he held various positions in the areas of production, planning, logistics and marketing in Colombia, United States, Belgium and Ireland.