Doniambo's nickel output is split 80% ferronickel and 20% matte for conversion at the Sandouville refinery into high purity nickel metal, and salts of nickel and cobalt. Eramet launched an investment programme in 2003 aimed at increasing production capacity up to 75,000 tonnes of nickel per year. This programme involved the building of a new furnace at the Doniambo smelter, the extension of the Tiébaghi mine in New Caledonia and the revamping of four rotary kiln furnaces. In 2016, with nickel prices still low, Eramet stated its intention to reduce operating costs at Doniambo to $4.50/lb by the end of 2017. This objective was stated as an absolute priority, to be achieved through various measures to be implemented throughout the production chain, from mine planning, and operational changes at Doniambo, and a move to third party matte refining at Sandouville.