Archive | Vale

Brazil regulator says Vale ‘negligence’ may have cost lives – by Jake Spring and Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – November 5, 2019)

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s mining regulator on Tuesday blasted iron ore miner Vale SA for failing to disclose problems with a mining dam before a deadly collapse in January, saying this kept the agency from taking actions that could have saved lives.

The dam in Brumadinho collapsed and flooded a nearby company cafeteria and the surrounding countryside with mining waste, killing more than 250 people. It was Vale’s second deadly dam collapse in less than four years.

The regulator’s report on its probe into the disaster is the latest blow to the reputation of Vale, which is under criminal investigation over accusations that top executives ignored warning signs about the dam. Continue Reading →

Investors fear looming safety risks of mining waste dams – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – October 31, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – A global inquiry into how mining companies store billions of tonnes of waste in huge dams, launched after a collapse in Brazil killed hundreds, shows about a tenth of the structures have had stability issues, investors said on Thursday.

The research was led by the Church of England (CoE) and fund managers after the collapse of a Vale (VALE3.SA) dam in January unleashed an avalanche of mining waste on the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, killing an estimated 300 people.

A waste, or tailings dam, is the most common waste disposal method for mining companies, whether they’re extracting iron ore, gold or copper. They are among the largest man-made structures on earth, with some towering dozens of meters high and stretching for several kilometers. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale earnings miss expectations, cites dam shutdown progress – by Christian Plumb and Roberto Samora (Reuters U.S. – October 24, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale (VALE3.SA) on Thursday reported a weaker-than-forecast 15% gain in quarterly earnings as the iron ore exporter tries to overhaul its operations to avoid a recurrence of the dam burst that killed more than 250 people in January.

Vale’s net profit rose to $1.654 billion from $1.408 billion in the year-ago period, missing the $2.72 billion mean of analysts polled by Refinitiv, as an increase in iron ore prices was partially offset by a slump in production following the incident.

Vale, which is still wrestling with the aftermath of the deadly dam collapse near the town of Brumadinho, said it was making progress with its effort to decommission, or shut down, other such dams as Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo reiterated the company’s “commitment to safety.” Continue Reading →

INCO trailblazer and champion of women’s rights tells her story in new memoir – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – October 17, 2019)

Cathy Mulroy has always understood that well-behaved women seldom make history. In 1974, after becoming one of the first women hired in a non-traditional role at INCO since the Second World War, the Sudbury native, who stood at 5 feet 1 inch and weighed 105 pounds, was quickly labelled a troublemaker.

As a 19-year-old mother stuck in a toxic marriage, Mulroy signed up to work in the copper refinery in the anode department casting molten metal copper with the hope of earning enough to become financially independent.

She was often found guilty for the crime of sticking up for herself, and in Mulroy’s own words, she “never put up with crap.” Years later, after Mulroy retired, she decided to write a book about her experience using all the material she accumulated over the years. Mulroy documented everything, writing on cigarette packs, paper towels, and in diaries, collecting newspaper clippings, and more. Continue Reading →

The world beats a path to Sudbury: International delegations dig the Nickel City for its mining expertise and regreening story – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – October 16, 2019)

The City of Greater Sudbury has rolled out the red carpet no less than 10 times this year for international trade delegations coming to see the city’s expertise in mining and hear the story of the environmental remediation of its once-devastated landscape.

The payoff has been low-key but still very significant, according to organizers who have worked to entice these groups by teaming up with government, the mining and supply companies, and post-secondary educators.

“The key word is ‘partnerships’ because these are happening from many different partners from all levels of government,” said Scott Rennie, a business development officer with the city, who is also the project manager for Northern Ontario Exports. Continue Reading →

Greening up mine tailings with municipal waste: Terrapure Environmental brings award-winning solution to Sudbury – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – October 15, 2019)

Terrapure Environmental and Vale Canada have now won so many awards for their innovative mine tailings rehabilitation project that their team members have almost lost count.

The Burlington-based advanced waste management and field services company broke ground when they approached Vale’s Sudbury Operations in 2012 with an idea to solve a municipal and mining problem.

They wanted to apply treated biosolids to Vale’s Central Tailings Area in Copper Cliff for reclamation and revegetation. The result of the discussion was a wildly successful collaboration. Last May, both companies jointly won an Environmental Leader Award for Project of the Year. By June, they took home a Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Award, among others. Continue Reading →

Indonesia state miner agrees to buy 20% stake in Vale Indonesia (Reuters U.S. – October 13, 2019)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Mining Industry Indonesia, the state miner formerly known as PT Inalum, said on Monday it has signed an initial agreement to buy a 20% stake in nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO.JK) for an undisclosed sum.

The planned sale was flagged by the Indonesian government last week as Vale Indonesia seeks to comply with rules that require foreign controlled miners to reduce their ownership to 49% or below within 10 years of starting operations.

Vale Indonesia is currently around 59% owned by Brazil’s Vale SA (VALE3.SA) and around 20% by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd. Continue Reading →

‘Sense of Dread’: How a Mining Disaster in Brazil Raised Alarms in Minnesota – by Alistair MacDonald, Kris Maher and Kim Mackrael (Wall Street Journal – October 14, 2019)

Mine-waste dams around the world have drawn new scrutiny after a collapse in Brazil this year killed hundreds

EMBARRASS, Minn.—An earthen dam is set to rise behind the trees of Dan Ehman’s 120 woodland acres in northeastern Minnesota’s Iron Range, a region with close ties to mining for more than a century.

The planned dam, designed to hold back hundreds of millions of tons of mining waste, will be similar in structure and height—soaring 250 feet above Mr. Ehman’s century-old log cabin—to one in Brazil that burst in January, killing 270 in a tsunami of sludge.

That disaster, the deadliest of its type in half a century, has upended the global mining industry. The world’s biggest mining giants have spent months and millions of dollars re-evaluating their dams. Institutional investors are scrubbing their portfolios, looking for companies with risky structures—and helping to publicize potential stability issues. And environmentalists are getting new support from residents, some of whom are learning for the first time about the potential dangers of the dams in their communities. Continue Reading →

Fortescue confirms bid for vast Simandou iron ore deposit – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 7, 2019)

Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has confirmed its interest in a slice of the giant Simandou iron ore deposit, handed back this year to the Guinean government by billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources.

The committee in charge of an international tender for the project’s blocks 1 and 2, launched in mid-July, should come to a final decision in November, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Both the consortium of Société Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Singapore’s Winning, which is Guinea’s biggest bauxite exporter, have already acknowledged they submitted an offer. Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s largest producer of iron ore, is also said to have paid for documents needed to submit an offer, but decided not to do so. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Indonesia govt appoints Inalum to buy stake in Vale Indonesia -official (Reuters U.K. – October 7, 2019)

JAKARTA, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s government has appointed state miner PT Inalum to purchase a stake that PT Vale Indonesia intends to sell, the Director General of Coal and Minerals, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said on Monday.

Vale, one of Indonesia’s largest nickel miners, is set to divest around 20% of its stake to local investor to meet new regulations aimed at limiting foreign ownership of its mining resources.

The company had said it aims to conduct the stake sale in October. Continue Reading →

Vale’s digital evolution takes shape: Sudbury nickel miner moving to world’s largest underground wireless network – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – September 19, 2019)

Vale Canada Ltd. is charging forward to provide LTE communications in its Canadian underground mining operations. In some cases, this will be an all new level of wireless communication, while in other cases it will mean switching away from existing Wi-Fi.

Vale said this means the company will soon be operating the largest privately owned underground LTE network in the world. LTE, or long-term evolution, is a higher form of wireless communications that most people associate with their cellular phones. In the mines, LTE will support a host of wireless devices and live connections to people and mobile equipment.

Vale described their new LTE system as an enabler, something that will allow the company to carry out significant changes for integrated operations scheduling, autonomous and tele-remote mining machines and huge efficiencies and cost savings for underground mine ventilation systems. Continue Reading →

Vale to restart Onça Puma nickel complex – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 24, 2019)

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE) has begun working on resuming operations at its $3 billion Onça Puma nickel mining complex, as the country’s Supreme Court suspended injunctions against the miner earlier this month.

Nickel mining at Onça Puma, in Brazil’s northern Pará state, has been halted since September 2017 as the company failed to undergo a requested environmental impact on local indigenous communities affected by pollution caused by the mine.

The complex, which also had to suspend nickel processing in June this year, produced a record 7,100 tonnes of nickel in the third quarter of 2017, up 29% compared with the prior three-month period and up 7.6% from the third quarter of 2016, Vale said at the time. Continue Reading →

After Dumping Vale, Church of England Says Miner Has ‘Way to Go’ – by Isis Almeida and Sabrina Valle (Bloomberg News – September 24, 2019)

The Church of England has dumped Vale SA, and it doesn’t look like the Brazilian miner will make it back into the good books any time soon.

The church sold its shares in Vale after a tailings dam collapse in January killed at least 249 people in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho. It has also blocked investments in the miner through an ethical exclusion process, according to Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement at the church’s pension board.

There’s a “long way to go” before the church is ready to backtrack, he said by phone before the Financial Times Commodities Americas Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where he is scheduled to speak. Continue Reading →

Vale misled public on dangerous dams, prompting Brazil probe: source – by Marta Nogueira, Jake Spring and Christian Plumb (Reuters Canada – September 17, 2019)

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Faced with public outrage after its second mining dam collapse in four years killed at least 240 people in Brazil, Vale SA misrepresented what it had done to shut down its riskiest dams, a review of the company’s statements shows.

Fabio Schvartsman, Vale’s then-chief executive, said at a nationally broadcast news conference days after the dam burst in late January that the company had already decommissioned nine “upstream dams” in the wake of a 2015 disaster involving the same type of structure, and planned to dismantle 10 more over the next few years. The company repeated the claim in a statement on its website.

Reuters asked Vale for details on these moves on February 5, seven days after Schvartsman’s news conference. In March, some five weeks later, Vale gave Reuters a list of nine dams that it said it had closed since 2014, a year before the Mariana disaster. Continue Reading →

Global mining panel looks to boost accountability after Brazil disaster – by Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – September 11, 2019)

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Reuters) – New safety standards being drawn up by a global mining industry panel will include rules to better define management accountability after Vale SA’s (VALE3.SA) January tailings dam disaster, a top industry official said on Wednesday.

The governance standards would help ensure independent reviews of dams and adequate disclosure of risks, said Tom Butler, president of the International Council on Mining and Metals.

“The engineers know what they’re doing with these things but the implementation and the management and the change management, that all involves humans,” Butler told Reuters in an interview in Brazil. Continue Reading →