Archive | Vale

Vale’s reality check for nickel’s electric vehicle dreams – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – December 12, 2017)

Nickel is one of the materials expected to win from the coming electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Electric vehicles will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, which need cobalt and nickel. Indeed, as cobalt’s potentially fragile supply chain comes under ever-increasing scrutiny, battery-makers are likely to try to use less of the stuff in favor of more nickel.

So it might seem strange that the world’s largest nickel producer is actively curtailing capacity at mines and refineries. Yet that is precisely what Brazil’s Vale is doing, removing around 100,000 tonnes of supply over the next two years.

While “everyone knows there are great opportunities” for nickel in the EV sector, “prices are not there”, according to Vale Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman, speaking at an investor event last week. Continue Reading →

Vale to mothball New Caledonia nickel mine if no stake buyers found – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – December 8, 2017)

Vale will mothball its troubled nickel project on New Caledonia in the second half of next year if it has not found a strategic partner prepared to purchase a stake of 20 to 40 per cent, according to its chief executive.

Speaking to journalists in London, Vale boss Fabio Schvartsman said the Brazilian miner would not continue to “invest and lose money” on the loss-making mine, which cost billions of dollars to build and has been dogged by problems.

Asked when the sale process would end Mr Schvartsman said June after which time the mine would be put on care and maintenance if a partner had not been found. Continue Reading →

Biggest Iron Ore Miner Threatens to Flood Market If Prices Surge – by R.T. Watson and Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – December 7, 2017)

Vale SA has a somber message for anyone betting on iron ore prices returning to the heady days of 2011.

The world’s biggest producer of the steel-making ingredient is prepared to unleash as much as 50 million metric tons of spare capacity to balance the market if prices get too high, Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman said.

High prices would lure inefficient producers back into the market and risk a repeat of past excesses that led to $1 trillion in value destruction, he said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television from the New York Stock Exchange, where Vale held its annual investor day. Continue Reading →

Vale cuts nickel output but is positive on long-term demand – by Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – December 6, 2017)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA dialed back its nickel output forecasts for the next five years on Wednesday, although the world’s top producer of the metal praised its longer term prospects on likely soaring demand for electric cars.

Vale cut its nickel output estimate by 15 percent to 263,000 tonnes next year and said it was still seeking an investor for its New Caledonia nickel mine.

However, Vale wants to “preserve its nickel optionality” ahead of an expected boom in electric vehicles in the next decade, said Jennifer Maki, executive director of Vale’s base metals unit, at an annual investor presentation in New York. Continue Reading →


Angie Robson, Manager of Corporate and Aboriginal Affairs for Vale’s Ontario Operations receives the OBAA Corporate Citizen Award from the award sponsor representative, Wade Stayzer, Vice-President of Retail for Meridian Credit Union.

SUDBURY, December 5, 2017 – Vale is proud to announce that its Ontario Operations has received an Ontario Business Achievement Award (OBAA) from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in the category of Corporate Citizenship.

“We are so thrilled to be recognized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce with this award,” said Angie Robson, Manager of Corporate and Aboriginal Affairs for Vale’s Ontario Operations as she accepted the award. “It’s wonderful to be acknowledged for the community relationships and investments Vale is making near our operations in Sudbury and Port Colborne.”

The OBAA Corporate Citizen Award recognizes a large business that demonstrates a sustained and long-term commitment to investing in the community in which it operates. Continue Reading →

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground – by Erica Caden (The – November 28, 2017)

What do a big chunk of ice at the South Pole, a mine in northern Ontario and a mountain in Italy have in common? They’re all home to extreme underground environments but they’re connected in another, more unexpected way. All three are host to large physics experiments searching to understand and answer the most basic questions about the world around us.

As a research scientist at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ont., I get the chance to talk to a lot of different people about the work we do. The question often comes up: Why are we doing astrophysics — the study of space and the cosmos — from deep underground?

In particle physics, we long ago answered all of the questions that could be answered through tabletop experiments run by small groups of scientists in small laboratory spaces. Albert Michelson and Edward Morley showed that “luminiferous aether” didn’t exist, using a light source and mirrors on a bench-top stand. Marie Skłodowska Curie discovered polonium and radium in a shed next to the school of chemistry and physics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Continue Reading →

BHP, Vale inch toward Samarco dam spill settlement – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – November 21, 2017)

BHP Billiton and Brazilian miner Vale have inched closer to a settlement over the multibillion-dollar lawsuits that continue to hang over their Samarco joint venture following 2015’s deadly dam disaster.

While a full settlement appears unlikely to be reached before the end of 2017, the miners have at least agreed with Brazilian prosecutors over the pathway toward a more substantial agreement.

It is now 20 months since federal prosecutors in Brazil lobbed a 155 billion real ($63 billion) claim against the Samarco partners over the damage caused by the collapse of a tailings dam at the iron ore business in November 2015. Continue Reading →

Layoff at Coleman extended for weeks – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – November 15, 2017)

It could be a month now before nearly 500 workers at Coleman Mine in Levack can return to work. Last week Vale temporarily suspended operations at the mine to undertake repairs to a ventilation compartment in the shaft.

“Upon further analysis of the work by our maintenance and engineering teams, it is now expected that the repair work will continue into December,” Vale said in an updated statement Tuesday.

That means the mine is now “on short-term shutdown, and our employees at Coleman will be temporarily laid off for the period of the repair,” according to Vale. While the company did not indicate exactly how long that repair work might take, Steelworkers Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand said his impression is it could be a month. Continue Reading →

Spare a Nickel for Vale? – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – November 8, 2017)

Here’s a sign that 2017’s nickel boom is in full swing: Vale SA is looking to sell a slice of its New Caledonian unit, and seems to be attracting bidders.

The interest in Vale New Caledonia, or VNC, is surprising because the division — on a French-ruled island in the Pacific that’s due to hold a vote on independence next year — is one of the highest-cost mines in an industry that’s spent years losing money.

The existence of willing buyers is as strong a signal as you could want that the prospect of fresh demand from electric vehicle batteries is leading many to bet on a recovery from nickel’s three-year slump. Continue Reading →

New chief of Brazil’s Vale aims to halve debt – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – November 5, 2017)

Fabio Schvartsman says he wants miner to become ‘results orientated’

The new head of Brazil’s biggest private company Vale has said the miner must halve net debt to less than $10bn if it wants to become a “results-orientated” company.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Fabio Schvartsman said reducing debt was his number one priority and that there was a better chance of restarting the Samarco iron ore mine — the site of Brazil’s biggest environmental catastrophe and which it owns 50:50 with BHP Billiton — if Vale were able to take control.

“If we are at the $10bn level, it doesn’t matter what happens with commodity prices,” said Mr Schvartsman. “Vale will be in a very sound position to do everything that is necessary.” The company’s current market capitalisation is $53bn. Continue Reading →

Short-term plan needed to address mining-related job losses in Northern Manitoba, says NDP (Thompson Citizen – November 2, 2017)

Manitoba’s NDP party says Premier Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservative government is not doing enough to mitigate the economic effects that will be felt as up to 1,500 jobs are lost in Flin Flon and Thompson in the next year or so.

A briefing note sent to Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen last May, which was obtained by the NDP through a freedom-of-information request, said those job losses could represent $100 million in lost income and an overall loss of $300 million to the Northern Manitoba economy. Flin Flon MLA Tom Lindsey told the Nickel Belt News that the province is not doing enough in the short term to limit the damage those jobs losses will cause.

“We need to start addressing some of these issues right now,” said Lindsey, noting that the Look North task force’s report is more focused on long-term solutions. “The long-term vision is good but what do we do now that will try and keep those jobs, those workers, in the communities in the north so that Flin Flon and Thompson can survive?” Continue Reading →

Mining trailblazer to be recognized for managerial prowess – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 31, 2017)

Professional engineers honouring Vale’s Samantha Espley in November

Sudbury’s Samantha Espley will soon be placing another award on the mantel.

The general manager of Vale’s mines and mills technical services department will receive the Engineering Medal for Management at the prestigious Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OPEA) on Nov. 18 in Toronto.

The 70th annual black-tie gala takes place in the North Hall of the Toronto Congress Centre. Espley is a recognized trailblazer for women in the mining industry, serving as one of the few female engineers to hold several senior technical, operational and management positions. Continue Reading →

Electric cars set world’s nickel miners on new course – by James Regan and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – October 31, 2017)

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Battery makers are increasingly turning to nickel to help power growing global electric car sales, but only half of the world’s producers of the metal are likely to benefit, mining analysts and executives say.

Lithium batteries containing nickel, which helps keep a charge over longer distances, are being installed in electric cars from Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model X to General Motors Co modestly-priced Chevy Bolt.

The battery boom promises a new and growing market for miners producing high-grade nickel products. However, half the world’s supply of the metal, comprised of so-called ferronickel and nickel pig iron grades, is unsuitable for battery production, according to analysts at UBS. Continue Reading →

‘Leaner’ Vale reports better earnings, profits (Bloomberg/Sudbury Star – October 26, 2017)

Vale SA shares rose to the highest in two years after the world’s biggest iron-ore miner beat analysts’ earnings estimates on lower costs, stronger prices and record production.

Shares advanced for a sixth day, gaining 2.1 per cent at 10:18 a.m. in Sao Paulo, after the Rio de Janeiro-based company posted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $3.02 billion for the third quarter, exceeding the $2.7 billion average of nine dollar-based [estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Pummeled by the biggest commodities downturn in a generation, Vale is once again generating cash after cutting costs and selling assets as prices recover. Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira is betting on new, high-grade deposits in northern Brazil to offset his transport cost disadvantage with Australian mines that are much closer to Chinese steel mills. Continue Reading →

Job losses in northern Manitoba could reach 1,500 in next 3 years: Briefing note (CBC News Manitoba – October 23, 2017)

As many as 1,500 jobs in northern Manitoba could be lost over the next two or three years, according to an internal document sent to Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen in May.

The briefing note, dated May 10, 2017 and obtained by the New Democrats through a freedom-of-information request, projects the job losses could amount to as much as $100 million in lost income, with a loss to the regional economy of roughly $300 million.

The numbers were part of an advisory note to Pedersen ahead of the province’s Look North initiative, announced in its throne speech in November 2016. Continue Reading →