Vale sells New Caledonia nickel assets to Trafigura – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 31, 2021)

Vale (NYSE: VALE) said on Wednesday it had concluded the sale of its nickel and cobalt operations in New Caledonia, a French territory in the Pacific, to a consortium called Prony, which includes commodity trader Trafigura.

While the Brazilian miner did not disclose the exact terms of the deal, it said that $1.1 billion will be invested in the New Caledonia assets, with $555 million coming from its subsidiary Vale Canada Ltd.

“Vale’s intent from the beginning of the divestment process was to withdraw from New Caledonia in an orderly and responsible manner. This deal accomplishes that,” chief executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said in the statement.

Vale will have a supply contract to off-take part of the nickel produced, the world’s top nickel and iron ore producer, it said.

The Rio de Janeiro-based miner had been on the hunt for a buyer for over a year, but the sale was complicated by the fact that New Caledonia has been debating getting its independence from France, and where nickel is one of their main sources of wealth.

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