Archive | Vale

Decrepit Vale plant in Sudbury coming down – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 20, 2018)

It’s been a long time coming, but Vale’s long-dormant Iron Ore Recovery Plant off Fielding Road in Copper Cliff is finally going to be taken down. No longer home to peregrine falcons, which had been using the derelict building to raise their young in recent years, the building is expected to be levelled by the end of 2018.

“The demolition actually started last August,” said Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson. “It will be completed by the end of the year.” Built in the mid 1950s to recover iron from waste material that had gone through the smelting process at the nearby Copper Cliff Smelter, the Iron Ore Recovery Plant ceased operating in the late 1980s.

Robson said the contractor doing the demolition work will use fire hoses to control dust control. It will also have air-monitoring devices on site. Continue Reading →

Vale seeks new dividend policy as debt falls – by Joe Leahy (Financial Times – March 18, 2018)

A new dividend policy to be announced by Vale should be based on a more sustainable cash flow generation rather than profits or debt, according to the chief executive of the world’s largest iron ore exporter.

“The one who will decide on the new [dividend policy] is the board but my preference is that it be linked in some form to the company’s cash generation, not necessarily the [financial] results,” Fabio Schvartsman told the Financial Times in an interview.

Vale has been struggling with how to deal with an industry cyclical downturn while trying to reduce a massive debt load. Its board is expected to decide on the policy this month as the Brazilian miner aggressively cuts debt, setting the stage for steadier cash returns for shareholders in coming years, analysts say.  Continue Reading →

Historic mining facility in Copper Cliff to be demolished by year’s end – by Benjamin Aubé (CBC News Sudbury – March 15, 2018)

The Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant was built by INCO in 1953

It was an iconic part of Greater Sudbury’s mining history to some, and a decaying eyesore to others, but the former Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant is finally coming down.

Starting in the mid-1950s, the facility was used to separate remaining traces of iron ore and sulphur from waste produced by nickel mining operations. Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said there should be no trace of the facility by the end of 2018.

“Obviously it was a very historically significant part of our operations. It employed many in the community over the years, so it’s quite significant that the plant is now being decommissioned,” said Robson. Continue Reading →

Vale, Glencore approve Sudbury projects – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – March 13, 2018)

Vale and Glencore are digging deep to dig deep. Each company is committing about $700 million to develop new mines and will be using cutting-edge, automated machines to reach the ore located more than two kilometres below the surface.

Vale is going ahead with its Copper Cliff Deep project, which includes refurbishing the south shaft at the Copper Cliff complex and eventual access to an ore body beneath Kelly Lake. The first phase is pegged at $760 million.

Glencore has freed up about $900 million for Onaping Depth, a new project near Craig Mine that will burrow 2.6 km into the earth. Jean-Charles Cachon, a professor in marketing and management at Laurentian University, said the price tags for these projects are typical of the industry. Continue Reading →

Indonesia projected to lead in global nickel production – by Viriya P. Singgih (The Jakarta Post – March 9, 2018)

Growth in global nickel production is expected to accelerate in 2018, driven by Indonesia’s ongoing recovery since 2017 and a rebound in production from major markets such as Australia, Canada and Russia, according to Fitch Group think tank BMI Research.

BMI Research has forecast global nickel production growth at an annual average rate of 3.5 percent in the 2018-2027 period, slightly slower than the average rate in the previous 10-year period. It expects global annual nickel production to reach 2.9 million metric tons by 2027.

“The best-performing country in terms of nickel production growth during 2018-2027 will be Indonesia, as output there continues to recover following the moderation of its export ban in January 2017,” BMI Research stated in a report published on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Vale says no new jobs to come with $760M Copper Cliff mine expansion (CBC News Sudbury – March 08, 2018)

$760 million to expand Copper Cliff Mine over next 4 years

Vale announced this week that it’s making a big investment in Sudbury, while at the same looking to trim millions from its global nickel operations. The company is spending $760 million dollars over the next four years to expand Copper Cliff Mine.

The project, which some have called Copper Cliff Deep, will see the area between the north and south shafts mined, while at the same time giving the company future access to an ore body beneath Kelly Lake.

But Vale’s vice-president of corporate affairs and communications Cory McPhee says not to expect a round of new hiring. “It’s not necessarily creating new jobs as much as it is sustaining jobs that are existing today. Continue Reading →

The Sudbury recipe: How the city came to be a global centre of mining innovation (Canadian Mining Journal – February 2018)

Sudbury has a long history as an important mining centre in Canada, with the first of many nickel-copper mines, Murray, built in the late 1880s.

But over the past 15 years, the city has become known as a mining innovation hub, with a dense and extensive network of service and supply companies and research institutions whose influence stretches well beyond northern Ontario.

The feat is all the more impressive considering the price of nickel – the commodity that was most responsible for Sudbury’s rise as a mining centre – is far from booming. (It was US$6.21 per lb. at press time.) Ian Wood, director of economic development at the city of Greater Sudbury, says that the reason for the strength of the city’s mining service and supply sector stems from the needs of thetwo dominant nickel giants in the area – Glencore (formerly Falconbridge) and Vale (formerly Inco). Continue Reading →

Glencore, Vale approve C1.8 billion in mine development spending for Sudbury – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 1, 2018)

Copper Cliff and Onaping Depth projects underway

Vale and Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations have received board approval for major mine development projects in the Sudbury Basin.

Following several delays attributable to low commodity prices, Vale is proceeding with a C$760 million phase one development of its Copper Cliff Deep project, while Glencore is moving ahead with a C$900 million development of Onaping Depth.

Both projects are being undertaken to replace declining production from established mines.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that most of our mines are facing declining production profiles,” said Vale’s Dave Stefanuto, vice-president, capital projects for the North Atlantic. “We need to find replacement volumes of ore, so we’re starting to focus more on what we can do to start supplementing these declining orebodies. In the last few years, we spent a lot of time focusing on our surface plants, including the $1 billion Clean AER project. We’ve invested enough in our surface facilities. Now we have to feed them because they’re no good if they’re running empty.” Continue Reading →

Iron ore grade war boosts Vale as Evy Hambro exits Fortescue – by Peter Ker(Australian Financial Review – February 28, 2018)

Australian iron ore exporters’ geographic advantage over South American rivals has been largely eroded by China’s growing preference for higher grade iron ore, according to the giant Brazilian miner that stands to benefit most from the trend.

Vale’s claim to now be matching the profit margins on each tonne of iron ore sold to China by the likes of Rio Tinto and BHP comes as Evy Hambro’s BlackRock World Mining Trust confirmed that it had exited Fortescue Metals Group’s share register because of the wider price discounts being applied to Fortescue’s iron ore

The average iron content of Vale’s ore has recently risen to 64.3 per cent with the introduction of the high-grade S11D mine in Brazil’s Carajas region, and the arrival of that mine has coincided with Chinese steel mills paying a premium for higher grade iron ore as they seek to improve environmental efficiency. Continue Reading →

Vale aims to cut nickel output costs as world glut looms – by Marta Nogueira and Alexandra Alper (Reuters U.S. – February 28, 2018)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale, the world’s no. 1 nickel producer, plans to save well over $150 million by reducing costs across its nickel operations, which have notched positive cash flow for the past two months, company executives said on Wednesday.

As the miner strives to diversify away from its massive iron ore presence, it is aiming for base metals to account for at least 30 percent of its financial results by the end of 2019. Last year, base metals stood at about 14 percent of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

“I hope that the 30 percent estimate turns out to be conservative in terms of the share that base metals have in Vale’s results,” Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman said in a conference call with analysts, a day after the company reported a 47 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings. Continue Reading →

Vale CEO eyes first quarter results in line with fourth quarter (Reuters U.S. – February 28, 2018)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale should achieve results in the first quarter that are similar to those in the final three months of 2017, the chief executive officer of the world’s top iron ore producer said on Wednesday.

In a conference call after the company reported a nearly 50 percent jump in profit in the fourth quarter, Fabio Schvartsman said the similar financial performance would come despite what is usually a weaker January to March period.

“In terms of Vale’s overall performance for the first quarter of 2018, despite the fact that admittedly the first quarter is seasonally weaker, we still expect to deliver results substantially in line with fourth-quarter results last year,” he said. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

Voisey’s Bay poised to capitalize on demand for cobalt, but Vale silent – by Terry Roberts (CBC News NL – February 06, 2018)

Sources say ballistic surge in cobalt prices makes underground mine project more likely

A ballistic surge in the price of cobalt could mean positive things for Labrador’s Voisey’s Bay mine, but if executives at Vale are excited, they certainly aren’t saying.

Reuters is reporting that the Brazilian mining giant, which owns the Voisey’s Bay mine and processing facility at Long Harbour, Placentia Bay, is looking to cash in on cobalt.

The international news agency is reporting that Vale is looking to sell unmined cobalt, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to investors and that could be a positive sign as the company decides whether to proceed with an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay. Continue Reading →

Bidders for $500m Canada streaming deal as cobalt price surges–report – by Frik Els ( – January 30, 2018)

Cobalt prices have been one of the main beneficiaries of the scramble for battery materials by auto manufacturers.

The metal quoted on the LME recently topped $80,000 a tonne, a gain of 140% since the beginning of last year. Measured from its record low hit in February 2016, the metal is more than $50,000 more expensive.

Annual production of the raw material is only around 100,000 tonnes with the bulk coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where fears about political instability and the challenges of ethical sourcing combine to supercharge supply concerns. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Vale at work on pioneering Canadian cobalt stream deal – sources – by Barbara Lewis and Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – January 30, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale is seeking to sell un-mined cobalt worth hundreds of millions of dollars to investors, as speculation rises over a shortage of the metal needed to make batteries, sources familiar with the matter said.

Such streaming, which allows an investor to make an upfront payment in exchange for future production at a discounted price, has expanded as a form of finance for precious and base metals companies but this deal would be a first for the booming cobalt sector.

Cobalt is a critical component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and its price has benefited from a push by governments and automakers to promote electric vehicles to cut emissions from diesel and petrol cars. Continue Reading →