Mining and the laterite roast-leach and carbonate production operations commenced in 1981 at Niquelândia. The initial nickel production capacity of the plant was 5k t/a, and cobalt was produced as a mixed hydroxide product from a nickelic precipitation process. As the production capacity of the plant was increased, SxEw was introduced to the flowsheet. In 1992 the nickel production capacity was raised to 10k t/a and in 1997 a capital expansion of $134.4M was approved to increase the capacity. The operation was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 due to continued operating losses.