Brazil’s Vale ‘Confident’ in Direction of New Mining Laws – by Paul Kiernan (Wall Street Journal – April 25, 2013)

RIO DE JANEIRO–Brazil’s Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR) has taken a largely favorable view toward a major overhaul of the country’s mining regulations that the government expects to send to Congress in coming weeks, Chief Executive Murilo Ferreira said Thursday.

“We’re confident in the new mining framework in Brazil, that it won’t create constraints and that it will bring motivation for investments,” Mr. Ferreira said in a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s first-quarter results.

He expressed doubt that the regulations, which are widely expected to raise royalties charges levied on Brazilian mining companies, would include a so-called special-participation tax by the federal government on large projects. Analysts earlier this year had expected such a tax, which would come on top of steeper royalties fees.

“I think on a series of doubts that the market had, we’re going in a very positive direction,” Mr. Ferreira said.

Regarding the other black cloud that has hung over Vale’s share price in recent months–the company’s roughly $15 billion in disputed tax liabilities–executives offered little news. General Counsel Clovis Torres said, however, that the company won’t have to set aside guarantees that are normally required in disputes with tax authorities.

–Brazil’s Vale sees 30 million-40 million tons of additional iron-ore capacity to pressure prices in second-half 2012

–Vale doesn’t expect India to become “influential factor” in iron-ore market

–Vale attributes lower realized prices to new pricing scheme, says prices should even out in long run

By Paul Kiernan

RIO DE JANEIRO–Brazilian mining giant Vale SA (VALE5.BR, VALE), the world’s largest producer of iron ore, expects new production capacity in Australia during the second half of this year to weigh on prices for the key steelmaking component.

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