Goodby Inco, ‘Bem-Vindos’ to Sudbury Brazillian CVRD – by Stan Sudol

This column was originally published in Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper on October 25, 2006

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, if I may borrow from Charles Dickens.

On Aug. 24, 2006 , the spot nickel price hit its all time high ever, at $15.76 (US) per pound. Last Friday it was just a tad under that record at $15.65.

Inco’s third quarter net earnings of $701 million—the Ontario operations contributed $US356 million to that figure—were the highest ever quarterly profits in the company’s 104-year history. The 2005 third quarter net earnings were $64-million.

And to add the cherry on the cake, the company officially opened its $115-million Fluid Bed Roaster Dioxide Emission Reduction plant in Copper Cliff that will further reduce SO2 pollution from the Sudbury operations by 34 percent to just 175 kilotonnes a year. This is about a 90 percent reduction from the 2,000 kilotonnes a year the company used to emit in 1970.

However, the drama and trauma of the past year’s “nickel wars” have finally come to an end in a way we didn’t expect.

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CVRD Opens its Doors to Local Communities in Brazil

Luana Andreza Ferreira took part in the CVRD Community Visits Program in Minas GeraisThe following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

Guided tours help bring together CVRD and local town residents

Ever since she can remember, Luana has looked out over the same intriguing landscape from her window. Every day the 19-year-old from Minas Gerais asked herself how it would feel to be there, inside the mine she sees day after day on the far horizon. Then, last November, she was finally able to satisfy her curiosity by taking part in the CVRD Community Visits Program.

The program started in 2003 with the aim of bringing CVRD and local communities near its facilities closer together, and covers the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Pará and Maranhão. Bernadete Almeida, Communities Communication coordinator at CVRD, explained, “Surveys showed that we were perceived as being ‘distant’ by some groups. There was also concern as to the environmental impact of our activities. We realized that people were interested in learning more about what we do and that many would like to see a mine with their own eyes. That’s why we created the Visits Program, to open the Company’s doors to receive anybody living in the cities and regions where CVRD is present.”

The story of Luana Andreza Ferreira is a case in point. She lives in Gabiroba de Cima, a neighborhood of Itabira (Minas Gerais) and has grown up surrounded by CVRD. Of her nine uncles, eight work in companies that provide services to CVRD, as does her brother. Nevertheless, she never really knew much about the company. “I thought they only mined the ore. Now I know that they also replant the landscapes, re-cultivating the natural ground cover and forest in the places where the Company operates,” she explained.
The visits to the mines are always a good opportunity to make the public aware of how important a role iron ore plays in modern life.

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Vale CEO Roger Agnelli Sustainability Report Message

Vale 2007 Sustainability Report

Click here for the Vale 2007 Sustainability Report

Vale CEO Roger Agnelli

Sustainability is essential for the feasibility of mining activities and for regional and community development where we operate

It is with great pleasure that I present to you Vale´s 2007 Sustainability Report, prepared according to the GRI guidelines, in its updated version the G3. Communication of this information shows Vale’s commitment to transparency in our activities and the improvement of internal sustainability management, in which we will continue to aggressively invest in the coming years.

The last three years were exceptional for Vale. We exceeded all our objectives in production, investment and value generation to our shareholders. During 2007, we consolidated the acquisition of Inco Limited, which occurred in October 2006, and acquired AMCI Holdings Australia Pty, in February 2007, two leading companies in the nickel and coal industries, respectively. With our expanded product portfolio, Vale became the second largest diversified mining company in the world, with operations in 34 countries on five continents. These results were only made possible through the work and dedication of our employees, to whom I extend my sincere gratitude.

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Vale School Programs Pass With Honors – by Sergio France

CVRD School Program Almost Ten Years OldThe following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

CVRD school program approaches its tenth anniversary and celebrates its positive results

 “I now enjoy studying more.  Before the program, I felt embarrassed and had difficulty with some reading.  Now I’m not embarrassed about anything and can read without a problem. “Testimonies like this one by Layla Leite Soares, who is ten and a pupil at the Henrique Rodrigues de Barros Hall School, in the district of Penha the Capim, in Aimorés (MG), represent significant pedagogical advances.  And they reflect a host of similar reports in the 24 Brazilian municipal districts covered by the school that Vale (EQV), or “CVRD School program(1), set up in 1999 by the CVRD Foundation (FVRD), in partnership with the Municipal Departments of Education and the Center for Education and Documentation for Community Action (Cedac) (2).

The program was set up to improve public education sector by qualifying and training teachers and pupils.  Today the program covers 450 schools, reaching more than 90 thousand people.  Nearing the end of its tenth year in existence, the program has had significant results, such as in the case of Curionópolis, in Pará  “One of the effects of the project has been the drop in the numbers of students failing their exams in our local schools.  In 2001, around 43% failed – by 2006, this had dropped to 19.5%,” says Maria do Amparo Costa e Silva, the Secretary of Education for the district.

 Although the statistics speak for themselves, the real merits of the Vale School program that go beyond the rise in the numbers of pupils in the public system passing their exams.  The program’s methodology is geared towards the exercise of citizenship and encouragement.  The idea is that to be a citizen in school is to learn about local and universal matters, to be treated with dignity, to have access to up-to-date, quality materials and equipment; to have the opportunities to develop one’s capacities, and to share experiences and opinions. 

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Vale’s Brazilian Tree Factory – By Francisco Luiz Noel

Vale plants about six million native trees every year in Brazil throughout its mining operationsVale is a Brazilian mining company that is committed to the protection and scientific knowledge of Brazil’s globally significant biodiversity. Vale protects more than 1.3 million of hectares of primary forests in the Amazonian and Atlantic regions of Brazil and plants about six million native trees per year in its various mining projects throughout the country.  

The following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

From the Vale Nature Reserve in Linhares (Espirito Santo) come 4.5 million seedlings per year for forest regeneration projects

From seedlings barely a hand’s width in height have come mighty trees that have helped to rescue the green of the Atlantic Forest in various parts of Brazil. This has also been happening in various parts of Espírito Santo’s capital Vitória: on the city’s hillsides and at the Vale Botanical Garden located in the Industrial Port Complex of Tubarão, as well as in the historic Convent of Our Lady of Penha, in neighboring Vila Velha. Natives of Espírito Santo, known as capixabas, have given their endorsement to this growth with the more than 450,000 visits paid to the park since 2004, while seedlings are also being planted in the states of Maranhão, Pará and Minas Gerais. With appropriate environmental technology and tropical silviculture, Vale is contributing to restoration of the ecosystem in the cities where it operates, for the sake of the quality of life and the conservation and safeguarding of biodiversity.

The source of this environmental undertaking is the Vale Nature Reserve, located in Linhares, in northern Espírito Santo. A national model for the planting of seedlings of species from the Atlantic Forest, it has a production capacity of 55 million seedlings per year, involving 800 species from some of the ecosystems of this biome. A great many of the seeds used for this production are gathered in the reserve’s 22,000 hectares – 40% of what remains of the old-growth Atlantic Forest in the state.

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Making Sustainability part of Vale’s DNA by Renato Amorim – Vale Director of International Public Affairs

Vale employees working at the seedling nursery in its nature reserveThe International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is a CEO-led industry group that addresses key priorities and emerging issues within the minerals sector. The following article came from the ICMM newsletter.

Brazil-based mining giant Vale is building sustainability into its long-term success. Vale Director of International Public Affairs Renato Amorim offers a snapshot of recent developments.

Over the past few years Vale has undergone a major process of expansion and diversification to become the second largest company in the mining and metals sector. Its approach to sustainability is evolving in parallel with this expansion, guided by the company’s mission to ‘transform mineral resources into sustainable development and prosperity’.

Vale’s 2006 acquisition of Inco for US$18.9 billion represented the largest ever made by a Brazilian company. Expansion has continued apace, and the company is now responsible for almost one-fifth of Brazil’s trade balance, as well as being world number two in the mining and metals sector. Such rapid growth has brought growing awareness of social and environmental issues.

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