Vale is the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world. Vale also produces manganese, ferroalloys, copper, bauxite, potash, kaolin, and cobalt. The company also currently operates nine hydroelectricity plants and a large network of railroads, ships, and ports used to transport its products.
Iron ore: Vale is the world's largest iron ore producer. Sales of iron ore fines and pellets represented 65% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 256 million metric tonnes of iron ore fines and 44 million metric tonnes of iron ore pellets. Vale's Mariana Hub was the 9th largest iron ore mining center in the world in 2014, with an output of 39 million metric tonnes. Vale's Serra Sull / S11D is the largest mining reserve in the world. The company's iron ore mines are primarily in Brazil.
Nickel: Vale is the world's largest nickel producer. Sales of nickel represented 17% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 272,000 metric tonnes of nickel. The company owns nickel mines in Canada, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and Brazil.
Fertilizer products, primarily phosphates and nitrogen: Sales of fertilizer products represented 6% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 9 million metric tonnes of fertilizer products.
Copper: Sales of copper concentrate represented 4% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 353,000 metric tonnes of copper. The company owns copper mines in Brazil, Canada, Chile, and Zambia.
From 2000 to 2006 Vale invested more than $1.3 billion on the acquisition of over 361 locomotives and around 14,090 freight cars, those locomotives were primarily for iron ore transportation, but some were for regular cargo. Some of the locomotives purchased were secondhand for refurbishment but at least 55 of the locomotives acquired were new ones of the model EMD SD70M, each one costing about $2 million.
Vale has also entered the shipping business by ordering 35 Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) to transport iron ore between South America and Asia. These 362-metre (1,188 ft), 400,000 DWT ships are the longest and largest dry bulk carriers in the world. The first ship, Vale Brasil, was delivered in March 2011.
Vale's energy business is focused at power production to fulfill the needs of its mining operations, as well as supplying the general Brazilian power grid. In 2005 it consumed 16.9 TWh of electrical power, accounting for 4.4% of Brazil's total consumption in that year.
Vale has participation in 8 hydroelectric plants, with 7 of these located in the state of Minas Gerais. Vale's investment in hydroelectric power plants totals $880 million. The company also plans to build a 600 MW thermoeletric power plant in the state of Pará.
|Name||Location||Production Capacity||Vale's Ownership||Vale's Investment||Start of Operations|
|Aimorés||Minas Gerais||330 MW||51%||$141 million||July 2005|
|Candonga||Minas Gerais||140 MW||50%||$46 million||September 2004|
|Capim Branco I||Minas Gerais||240 MW||48.42%||$90 million||February 2006|
|Capim Branco II||Minas Gerais||210 MW||48.42%||$90 million||May 2007|
|Estreito||Tocantins||1,087 MW||30%||$355 million||August 2009|
|Funil||Minas Gerais||180 MW||51%||$49 million||December 2002|
|Igarapava||Minas Gerais||210 MW||38.15%||$88.1 million||January 1999|
|Porto Estrela||Minas Gerais||112 MW||33.33%%||$20 million||September 2001|
In November 2007, the company retired the name CVRD in favour of simplified company name of Vale, and rebranded.
Founded as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (widely known as CVRD prior to 2007) (in English, "Doce River Valley Company") was founded in Itabira, Minas Gerais, by the Brazilian Federal Government on 1 June 1942.
One year later the Vitória a Minas railroad was inaugurated.
The 1950s marked Companhia Vale do Rio Doce’s entry into the global iron ore market, after the company's mine-railroad-port complex was modernized and iron ore prices doubled. At first, sales were mostly to the United States, but exports to Europe increased over the course of the decade.
In 1966, the company inaugurated in Espirito Santo the Port of Tubarão, which was to become the most important port for CVRD and is still used to export iron ore mined from the Iron Quadrangle in Minas Gerais.
In 1974, Vale became the world's biggest exporter of iron ore, a title which it still holds today.
In March 2017, Vale SA choose a commodities industry veteran, Fabio Schvartsman as chief executive officer. Schvartsman was CEO of Klabin SA, Brazil's largest paper and cardboard producer, for the past six years.
In May 1997, despite protests by Vale employees and some politicians, the Brazilian Government auctioned a 41.73% interest in the company, which was sold for R$3.34 billion (US$3.13 billion). The largest interest purchased was a 16.3% stake purchased by Brazilian steel company Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional.
In 2001, Vale sold its Cenibra wood pulp business for US$670.5 million to focus on mining and logistics.
In 2002, Vale sold 100,000 acres of land and the eucalyptus forests thereon related to its wood pulp business for R$137 million.
In May 2000, the company also acquired a controlling interest in Samitri, one of the biggest pelletizing companies of Brazil.
In April 2001, the company acquired Ferteco, then the third largest Brazilian producer of iron ore, with a production capacity of 15 million tonnes per year.
In 2006, the company acquired Rio Verde Mineracao for $47 million.
On 1 April 2000, Vale offered to pay Mitsui US$277 million for 50% of the common shares and US$150 million for 40% of the preferred stock in Caemi. Caemi owned MBR, Brazil's second largest iron ore producer, mining over 60 million tonnes per year.
The acquisition was approved by European regulators subject to conditions.
In September 2003, Vale purchased an additional stake in Caemi from Mitsui for US$426.4 million.
Also in 2007, Vale announced that it will lease the shares of MBR that it did not already own from their 7 Japanese shareholders for a 30-year period. The agreement required the company to pay a total of US$60.5 million in 2007 and US$48.1 million annually for a 30-year period and gave it total control of MBR.
In 2015, Vale announced the sale of a 36.4% interest in MBR for R$4 billion.
In 2001, Vale increased its copper mining operations by purchasing the Sossego mine in Carajas, in northern Brazil, for $48.5 million.
In October 2006, Vale acquired Canadian-based nickel producer Inco, for $18.9 billion, including $17.7 billion in cash and the assumption of $1.2 billion in debt. To gain approval from Canadian authorities, Vale promised to continue investments in Canada and not layoff people for 3 years after closing.
In 2007, Vale made a major entry into coal mining by acquiring AMCI Holdings Australia for AU$835 million.
In 2011, the company sold its aluminum business to Norsk Hydro in a US$5.27 billion transaction.
In 2014, Vale sold its interest in Fosbrasil S.A., a manufacturer of phosphate-based products.
On 5 November 2015, a dam collapsed at the Samarco mining site, co-owned by Vale and BHP Billiton. The accident resulted in 17 deaths and massive environmental contamination. Activities at the mine were suspended, and the companies agreed to pay compensation of R$4.4 billion (US$1.55 billion).
On 26 November 2015, Vale announced that it planned to reduce its budget for capital expenditures from US$8 billion in 2015 to US$6.2 billion in 2016, with further reductions to US$4–5 billion by 2018.
Vale was elected as the corporation with the most "contempt for the environment and human rights" in the world during a January 2012 vote organized by the Public Eye. The choice was made by public vote and Vale received 25,000 votes.
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