Archive | Vale

Vale reviewing Voisey’s Bay – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 21, 2017)

Another of Vale Canada’s nickel operations in Canada is under review. CBC News is reporting that Vale’s plans to extend the life of the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador by moving operations underground are on hold.

Vale said a depressed market has led to a review of all projects, including Voisey’s Bay underground. “The nickel price has been depressed for some time now with no immediate or short-term relief in sight,” wrote Vale spokesperson Cory McPhee in an email to CBC News.

“During this period we are not approving any new project contracts.” Last month, Vale said it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after its second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices. Continue Reading →

USW on expected Vale layoffs: ‘They’re looking for efficiencies. Manpower is one.’ (CBC News Sudbury – August 16, 2017)

Union representative Myles Sullivan hoping members stay focused at work

Click here for interview:

Myles Sullivan, the area coordinator for the USW in northeastern Ontario, is cautioning members of the union to stay focused on safety while at work. Not an easy task, when many of Vale’s workers have questions after the mining giant released a company-only video that suggested impending layoffs for staff.

“It’s a very concerning video, outlining the financial situation of the company,” Sullivan said. “There’s a good future [in Sudbury,] a lot of reserves, but the mines need to produce profits.”

Sullivan said the company hasn’t made any final decisions on layoffs, but with new CEO Fabio Schvartsman at the helm of the company since May, all cards are on the table. “They didn’t say a number, but a global company like Vale they’ll invest where they have the best returns,” Sullivan said. “They’re looking at efficiencies. Of course manpower is one.” Continue Reading →

As Good as It Gets: Iron Ore Risks a Reversal as China Cools – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)

Iron ore in the $70s a ton may be as good as it gets for some time. After rallying hard in June and July, the commodity may see its gains unravel over the second half as steel production in China eases back from a record pace just as global miners pump up volumes.

The robust demand that’s supported gains may fade as steelmakers start to dial back output, according to Capital Economics Ltd., which came out first among forecasters in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Others expecting a drop include Citigroup Inc., Sucden Financial Ltd., Axiom Capital Management Inc. and hedge fund Academia Capital.

“There was some fundamental support for iron ore’s rally, namely strong growth in China’s steel output,” Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said by email. “Stocks at China’s ports are now stubbornly high and if, as seems likely, steel production and demand eases back later in the year, then we see iron ore prices coming under renewed pressure.” Continue Reading →

Vale video describes financial status, hints at layoffs: USW – by Samantha Samson (CBC News Sudbury – August 15, 2017)

Mining giant says video is internally-used communication tool used to describe financial situation

Vale is hinting at future layoffs at their Sudbury operations, according to a United Steel Workers representative. Myles Sullivan, area coordinator for northeastern Ontario, told CBC News that he and representatives from Local 6500 and Local 2020 met with Vale to watch a video describing the company’s current situation.

Sullivan says Vale management wanted union reps to see the video before showing it to workers. “There’s a lot of pressure on the business locally,” says Sullivan. “They’re reviewing their operations, looking at where they can save and contain costs, and they’re very clear in the video that this could mean layoffs.”

Sullivan says the company’s bottom line has been affected by low nickel prices. Meanwhile, management is looking to make Sudbury operations self sustaining. “They have to make enough money not just to profit from their mines, but enough to re-invest and develop new mines and new ore bodies,” says Sullivan. Continue Reading →

[Sudbury Vale] Layoff talk premature, Bertrand says – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 15, 2017)

Vale may have to make some hard decisions in coming months regarding its operations in Sudbury, but the head of a local union says it’s premature to talk about job losses.

“In this case right now, there’s no numbers,” said Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand. “We’ve asked them straight out, is there going to be any layoffs of any kind, because there’s so many people talking about different numbers. What we got from the company is that there is not a number, they don’t have a number.”

Bertrand also said there has been no membership meeting to discuss layoffs, as The Star earlier reported, citing a source. “That’s totally not true,” he said. Concerns grew among workers over the past week after they were shown a Vale video suggesting tough times lie ahead. Continue Reading →

New Caledonia’s nickel sector shaken up (Radio New Zealand – August 8, 2017)

Unions in New Caledonia fear that the Vale nickel plant could close within half a year and trigger the biggest wave of job losses the territory has ever seen. “That’s 5,000 employees and that means 10,000 people who need to be fed”, a unionist Pascal Pujapujane told New Caledonia’s television station after the latest briefing by the Vale leadership.

What sent the alarm bells ringing was the announcement by Vale’s new CEO Fabio Schvartsman in Brazil last month that it was reviewing its loss-making operation in New Caledonia. The timeline for a decision is not clear but reports suggest the Vale board may move as soon as this month.

Returning from Brazil, the head of Vale New Caledonia Daryush Khoshneviss met union representatives who had different interpretations of the message from headquarters. Vale runs a global network of mines and mining-related businesses which make it the world’s top iron producer. Continue Reading →

Goldman turns bullish on iron ore – for the moment – by Jasmine Ng (Australian Financial Review/Bloomberg – July 28, 2017)

Goldman Sachs boosted its iron ore forecasts after better-than-expected demand in China raised prices, but warned that it remains bearish on next year amid prospects for plentiful mine supplies and a worldwide glut.

The three-month forecast was raised to $US70 a tonne from $US55, and the year-end target increased by $US5 to $US60, according to a report from analysts including Yubin Fu and Max Layton received on Thursday. Next year, prices are still expected to drop, it said.

Iron ore has surged in recent weeks to top $US70 a tonne on sustained demand from China, the largest user. Steel mills in the country have benefited from rising product prices and strong profit margins after the government shuttered some capacity, and remaining producers are making record volumes. Continue Reading →

Copper in, nickel out — Vale (Reuters/Sudbury Star – July 28, 2017)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE5.SA) said on Thursday it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices.

Net income tumbled 99 per cent to $16 million from $1.1 billion a year earlier, far below an average estimate of $421 million.The world’s largest iron ore miner kept making slow progress on cutting net debt, which slipped 3 per cent in the three months through June to $22.12 billion – still a far cry from a target of $15 billion to $17 billion by year-end.

Fabio Schvartsman, who took over as CEO in May, said the company was aiming for $15 billion in net debt in 2018, adding that a company reliant on volatile commodity prices should ideally not be carrying debt at all. Continue Reading →

Brazil Miner Vale Grows Weary of Nickel – by Paul Kiernan (Wall Street Journal – July 27, 2017)

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian mining giant Vale SA, the world’s largest producer of nickel, signaled Thursday that it will stop betting on a recovery in prices for the metal after such hopes failed to materialize in recent years.

Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman, who took the helm of the company in May, said Vale’s nickel investments in recent years haven’t paid off because they were based on unrealistic price expectations.

“Every one of Vale’s nickel production facilities will have to work on the assumption that current prices will remain for a long period of time, ” Mr. Schvartsman said in a conference call with analysts. “In other words, Vale will stop making investments thinking that the price of nickel in the future will be much higher than at present.” Continue Reading →

Iron King Vale Is Expected to Post Record Output in Volatile Market – by R.T. Watson (Bloomberg News – July 19, 2017)

The reigning iron-ore king Vale SA is expected to set another quarterly production record, giving investors more to ponder in what has been a seesawing year for the main steel-making ingredient.

On Thursday, the Rio de Janeiro-based company probably will report second-quarter output of 91.4 million metric tons, including third-party purchases, up from 86.8 million a year earlier, according to the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Vale is coming off its biggest-ever production year, churning out 348.8 million tons in 2016. It’s projecting 360 million to 380 million tons this year for an even bigger share of the market. The record-setting pace has been fueled by the development of low-cost reserves in northern Brazil, including ramping up the industry’s biggest project, S11D. Continue Reading →

BHP-Vale JV Excused From Paying $6.3 Billion Legal Guarantee – by R.T. Watson (Bloomberg News – July 19, 2017)

(Bloomberg) — A Brazilian judge denied a request by prosecutors for companies and individuals facing criminal charges related to a dam spill to pay financial guarantees, according to court documents obtained by Bloomberg.

The stalled Samarco Mineracao SA joint venture and its owners BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA won’t have to pay a 20 billion-real ($6.3 billion) guarantee while the case is being tried and final damages calculated, the documents show. The judge also ruled that the individuals aren’t required to pay any financial guarantees or be subjected to travel restrictions such as passport seizure.

Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges including homicide against 21 people linked to the operators and owners of the iron-ore mine, while also accusing defendants of a series of environmental crimes. A November 2015 tailings dam collapse killed as many as 19 people and polluted waterways in two states. Among the accused individuals are Vale’s head of iron ore, Peter Poppinga, and Samarco chief executive officer at the time of the incident, Ricardo Vescovi. The case could go before a jury. Continue Reading →

Vale’s future in New Caledonia uncertain (Radio New Zealand – July 18, 2017)

New Caledonia is facing the possibilty of unprecedented job losses because of the continued low nickel price. The Brazilian company Vale is reassessing its commitment to running the Goro plant in the south of New Caledonia’s main island on which thousands of jobs depend.

Jamie Tahana asked Walter Zweifel what has triggered the concern.

WALTER ZWEIFEL: The low nickel price has been like a dark cloud over the entire nickel sector for years now, with losses being run up by all the three main operators. What sent the alarm bells ringing is the announcement by Vale’s new CEO Fabio Schvartsman in Brazil at the start of this month that it was reviewing its operation in New Caledonia. Vale runs a global network of mines and mining-related businesses which make it the world’s top iron producer. However Vale has been bleeding money in New Caledonia where it is reported to have lost $US1.3 billion in the past three years.

JAMIE TAHANA: What are the options that are being discussed? Continue Reading →

Vale says loss-making New Caledonia nickel operations under review (Reuters U.S. – July 3, 2017)

Brazil’s Vale is reassessing its loss-making New Caledonian nickel operations as part of a wider review of low performing assets after new Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman took charge last month, a spokesman said.

“Under the leadership of our new CEO, Vale is reviewing all assets and operations, with low-performing assets an area of particular focus. Vale New Caledonia is part of that review,” spokesman Cory McPhee told Reuters by email.

“The nickel price today is languishing at around $9,000 a tonne with no indication of recovery in the near-term. This has forced us to reassess all areas of the nickel business, including our operations in New Caledonia, which continue to lose money at these prices.” Continue Reading →

Court gives BHP, Vale until October 30 to settle $47 billion Samarco claim (Reuters U.S. – June 30, 2017)

BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) (BLT.L) and Vale (VALE5.SA) have won a four-month extension from a Brazilian court to negotiate a settlement to a $47 billion claim stemming from the Samarco mine disaster in 2015, BHP said on Friday.

Brazilian federal prosecutors in May last year served the joint partners in the Samarco iron ore mine with a 155 billion Brazilian real ($47 billion) claim to pay for the social, environmental and economic costs of cleaning up the country’s worst environmental disaster.

“The Court has extended the final date for negotiation of a settlement until 30 October 2017,” BHP said in a statement. Nineteen people died and nearby towns were inundated with flood waters after a dam designed to hold back mine waste burst on Nov. 5, 2015. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale shareholders approve corporate reorganization (Reuters U.S. – June 27, 2017)

Minority holders backed the extension for up to three and a half years of an agreement by controlling shareholders grouped under holding company Valepar SA to maintain control. The assembly also approved Vale’s takeover of Valepar and a subsequent merger of Vale’s two types of stock into a single common one.

Under terms of the share conversion, holders of Vale’s Class A preferred shares who join the share conversion voluntarily will receive 0.9342 of common stock.

To ensure completion of the plan, Vale would pay owners of Valepar a 10 percent premium for their shares, implying a 3 percent dilution for all shareholders. The former Valepar owners can sell the equivalent of up to 22 percent of Vale’s common shares after a six-month lockup period starting in August expires, provided they keep a 20 percent stake by November 2020. Continue Reading →