Brazil’s Vale expects to remain on top

by Craig Janis

Vale Rio Doce, which is world’s biggest iron-ore miner, is optimistic about its chances of remaining on top, and has several large new projects in the pipeline, including a $12.6 billion nickel mine in the Brazilian state of Pará. From MercoPress:

Vale, which aims to become the biggest mining company in the world, doesn’t need to compete with rivals for assets because it has the highest-quality iron ore and a pipeline of other metals projects, Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli told investors in New York on Monday.

“Everybody is looking for assets, they are going after acquisitions and we are not going after acquisitions,” Agnelli said in a presentation. Vale is “very well positioned” after “quietly” buying assets in 2004 through 2006, he said.

Rio de Janeiro-based Vale will start six new projects this year including its Onca Puma nickel mine in Brazil’s Para state after spending $12.6 billion, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The company’s 7.9 million metric tons of nickel reserves put it above OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest supplier, according to the presentation. Vale is also planning to expand production of minerals such as copper and fertilizers.

“We are the only mining company in the world that can double the capacity only with our own projects,” Chief Financial Officer Guilherme Cavalcanti said during the same event at the New York Stock Exchange.