Vale sets aside $185m to finance expansion – by Tama Salim (Jakarta Post – April 1 2015)

Publicly listed nickel mine operator PT Vale Indonesia (INCO) will allocate up to US$185 million in capital expenditures (capex) this year to finance expansion projects, including the construction of new refining facilities. The company’s chief financial officer, Febriany Eddy, said on Tuesday the allocated sum was significantly higher than last year’s capital spending realization of $76.8 million.

She said that Vale would be gearing up for the second phase of its ore processing and refining facility in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, as well as operations in Bahodopi, Central Sulawesi. “Phase 1 is currently being concluded, so we’re starting to plan out the next phase while we await the licenses for expansion,” Febriany told reporters in South Jakarta, on Tuesday.

“If everything goes according to plan, we can realize all our capital spending and put our projects into motion.” Vale’s capital expenditure for 2014 was 51 percent lower than the $163 million target, because of delays in the issuance of required permits and the decision to further assess the rebuilding of an electric furnace.

On the other hand, stakeholder returns in 2014 were high as the firm reached a dividend payout ratio of 58 percent, equal to $50.2 million. Febriany argued that the high payout rate was in line with Vale’s previous actions, citing average dividend payments of more than 50 percent in the last five years.

“But we’ve already settled this. There will be no new dividends because of our expansion,” she said, explaining that the firm had to save money to finance its expansion projects.

The Sorowako phase 1 project was currently being financed from internal sources, Febriany added.

Under ideal circumstances, she said the project would receive $40 to $60 million in total capex this year, as it would cost $400 to $500 million until completion in three years.

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