Vale board approves US$21.4bn investment budget for 2012 – by Dorothy Kosich ( – November 29, 2011)

Iron ore gets the lion’s share of Vale’s project capex budget next year, with the bulk of investment allocated to Brazilian projects and operations.

RENO, NV – Brazilian über iron ore miner Vale Monday announced its board of directors approved US$12.9 billion for projects, US$2.4 billion for research and development, and US$6.1 billion for sustaining operations in 2012.

The company also reinforced estimated mining production for 2012 including 312 million metric tons of iron ore, 50 million metric tons of pellets, 16.6 million metric tons of coal, 300,000 metric tons of nickel, 340,000 metric tons of copper, 650,000 metric tons of potash and 8 million metric tons of phosphate rock.

Vale now has 20 main projects now under construction to implement organic growth, comprising 75% of the $12.9 billion budgeted for project development next year. The bulk of the investment will be made in Brazil, which gets 63.7% of the total 2012 investment budget, while Canada will receive 11.7%.

Ferrous minerals, such as iron ore, will receive the lion’s share of the investment at 46.7%, while base metals projects and operations get 21.6%.

Among the main approved iron ore projects and logistics under construction are an iron ore processing plant in Carajás, which will add an additional 40 Mtpy of capacity; construction of a concentration plant in Conceiçao Itabiritos; and construction of a maritime terminal with enough depth for 400,000 dwt vessels in Malaysia.

The Salobo copper mine is being developed in Marabá, Para, Brazil, while a hydrometallurgical facility is under construction in Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Meanwhile, the Totten nickel mine is scheduled to reopen in the second half of 2013.

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