Vale (mining company)

Vale S.A.
Sociedade Anônima
Traded as
Industry Metals and Mining[1]
Founded 1942 (1942)
Headquarters Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Area served
Key people
Murilo Ferreira, Chief Executive Officer
Luciano Siani, Chief Financial Officer[2]
Products Iron ore
Iron ore pellets
Manganese ore
Revenue Decrease US$26.047 billion (2015)[1]
Decrease -US$6.131 billion (2015)[1]
Decrease -US$17.720 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$88.492 billion (2015)[1]
Total equity Decrease US$35.704 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
76,531 (2014)[3]

Vale SA (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvali]) is a Brazilian multinational corporation engaged in metals and mining and one of the largest logistics operators in Brazil.

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.[4]

Current operations

Although the company's primary operations are in Brazil, Vale has operations in 30 countries, which are detailed below and on the company's website.[5]

Ownership structure

The company is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York City, Paris, Hong Kong, and Madrid.

The Brazilian Government owns 12 golden shares that give it control over certain actions including a liquidation or change in principal office.[4]

Mining business

Vale's Carajás Iron Mine, Pará, 2009 NASA satellite photo

Iron ore: Vale is the world's largest iron ore producer.[6] 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.[4] 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.[7] Vale's Serra Sull / S11D is the largest mining reserve in the world. The company's iron ore mines are primarily in Brazil.[4]

Nickel: Vale is the world's largest nickel producer.[6] Sales of nickel represented 17% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 272,000 metric tonnes of nickel.[4] The company owns nickel mines in Canada, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and Brazil.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

Manganese and alloys: Sales of manganese and alloys represented 1% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 2 million metric tonnes of manganese and alloys.[4]

Coal: Sales of coal represented 2% of total company revenues in 2014. In 2014, Vale sold 7.5 million metric tonnes of coal. The company owns coal mines in Australia and Mozambique.[4]



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.[4] 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.[8][9]

After those investments, Vale became the owner of over 800 locomotives and more than 35,000 freight cars.[4]

Vale owns the concession of three Brazilian railways: Vitória a Minas railroad (EFVM), Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica (FCA) and Carajás railroad (EFC).

Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica and Vitória a Minas railroads

Ports and container terminals

Vale also operates port terminals in the state of Sergipe and two others in the state of Espirito Santo.


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.[14]


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.[15] The company also plans to build a 600 MW thermoeletric power plant in the state of Pará.[16]

Vale's Hydroeletric power plants[15][16]
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

Vale also operates hydroelectric plants in Canada and Indonesia.[4]


In November 2007, the company retired the name CVRD in favour of simplified company name of Vale, and rebranded.[17]


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 June 1, 1942.[18]

One year later the Vitória a Minas railroad was inaugurated.[18]

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.[19]

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.[18]

The company acquired a majority interest in the Carajás Mine, with over 1.5 billion tonnes of iron ore in reserves, in 1970.[20]

In 1974, Vale became the world's biggest exporter of iron ore, a title which it still holds today.[20]

In 1982, Vale began to diversify after it started to produce aluminium in Rio de Janeiro.[20]

In the mid 1980s, profits increased considerably under the leadership of Eliezer Batista, father of Eike Batista.[21]

In 1985, Vale started to explore the Carajás Mine in the state of Pará just after the 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) gauge Carajás railroad was opened.

In 1986, Ponta Madeira port terminal, which is still used to export iron ore mined at the Carajás Mine, was inaugurated in the state of Maranhão.[22]

Privatization in 1997

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.[23]

Sale of wood pulp businesses

In 2001, Vale sold its Cenibra wood pulp business for US$670.5 million to focus on mining and logistics.[24]

In 2002, Vale sold 100,000 acres of land and the eucalyptus forests thereon related to its wood pulp business for R$137 million.[25]

Sale of steel businesses

In 2000, the company sold its stake in Açominas to Gerdau in exchange for preferred shares in Gerdau.[26]

In 2001, Vale sold its stake in Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional for R$520 million.[27]

In 2004, Vale sold its stake in CST to Arcelor for US$415.1 million.[28]

In 2006, Vale sold its interest in Siderar to Ternium for US$107.5 million.[29]

In 2006, the company sold 5,362,928 shares in Usiminas for or R$378.6 million.[30]

In 2007, the company sold the majority of its stake in Usiminas.[31]

In 2009, the company sold its remaining stake in Usiminas.[32]

Acquisitions of Brazilian iron ore companies

In May 2000, the company acquired Sociomex, owner of the Gongo Sôco Mine, with proven reserves of approximately 75 million tons.[33]

In May 2000, the company also acquired a controlling interest in Samitri, one of the biggest pelletizing companies of Brazil.[34]

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.[35]

In 2006, the company acquired Rio Verde Mineracao for $47 million.[36]

Acquisition of Caemi and acquisition and partial disposition of MBR

On April 1, 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.[37]

The acquisition was approved by European regulators subject to conditions.[38]

In September 2003, Vale purchased an additional stake in Caemi from Mitsui for US$426.4 million.[39]

On January 23, 2006, the company announced a stock swap merger to acquire the interest Caemi that it did not already own.[40]

In 2007, increased its ownership in MBR by purchasing additional interests from Mitsui for US$114.5 million.[41]

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.[42]

In 2015, Vale announced the sale of a 36.4% interest in MBR for R$4 billion.[43]

Diversification into non-ferrous metals, coal and phosphate

In 2001, Vale increased its copper mining operations by purchasing the Sossego mine in Carajas, in northern Brazil, for $48.5 million.[44]

In 2005, Vale acquired Canico Resource, owner of a nickel mine in Brazil, after increasing its offer to $865 million.[45][46]

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.[47] To gain approval from Canadian authorities, Vale promised to continue investments in Canada and not layoff people for 3 years after closing.[48]

In 2007, Vale made a major entry into coal mining by acquiring AMCI Holdings Australia for AU$835 million.[49]

In 2010, Vale launched a public offer to acquire fertilizer and copper producer Paranapanema.[50][51]

In 2010, Vale acquired a controlling interest in Fosfertil via a series of transactions.[52][53]

In June 2011, Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram were killed at the 3,000 foot level of the Frood Mine near Sudbury, Ontario.[54]

In 2011, the company sold its aluminum business to Norsk Hydro in a US$5.27 billion transaction.[55]

In July 2012, Vale sold its ferro-manganese plants in Europe to Glencore for $160 million.[56]

In 2014, Vale announced the sale of coal assets in Mozambique to Mitsui in a $950 million transaction.[57]

In 2014, Vale sold its interest in Fosbrasil S.A., a manufacturer of phosphate-based products.[58]

In 2015, the company announced that it would sell a 25% interest in gold produced from its Salobo mine, located in Brazil, to Silver Wheaton for US$900 million.[59]

In 2015, the company entered into a letter of intent to sell bauxite assets to Norsk Hydro.[60]

On November 5, 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).[61]

On November 26, 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.[62]



A village flooded in the Bento Rodrigues dam disaster (2015). The dam was a property of Samarco, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton.

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.[63]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Vale's Performance in 2015
  2. Vale: Leadership
  3. Vale 2014 Form 20-F Annual Report
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Vale 2014 Form 20-F Annual Report
  5. Vale: Across the World
  6. 1 2 Cecilia Jamasmie (February 25, 2016). "Vale posts record loss, to sell core assets".
  7. Vladimir Basov (September 17, 2015). "True giants of mining: World's top 10 iron ore mines".
  8. "CVRD-controlled Carajas Railway received 12 new SD70M locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel in December to handle growing traffic". International Railway Journal. 2006.
  9. EMD: JT2CWR
  10. Ferrovia Centro Atlântica
  11. "Railway Gazette: Mining drives African rail plans". Retrieved 2010-11-02.
  12. Porto e Negócios
  13. News Article Archived 17 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Brazilian mining group’s giant ore carrier soon to enter service. Mining Weekly, 13th May 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  15. 1 2 SEC Info - Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, et al. - 20-F - For 12/31/05
  16. 1 2 A CVRD Anuncia a Construção de uma Térmica a Carvão - Adriano Pires: O Globo Online
  17. "As CVRD changes name to Vale, iron ore pre-talks begin". Mineweb. November 30, 2007.
  18. 1 2 3 Vale History Book: Chapter 1
  19. Vale History Book: Chapter 3
  20. 1 2 3 Vale History Book 5
  21. Alan Riding (May 19, 1985). "Mining for Profits in the Jungles of Brazil". New York Times.
  22. "First ship loaded at Ponta da Madeira: a special Monday in Vale's history" (Press release). January 15, 2016.
  23. "Brazil Awards Big Mining Stake To Group Bidding $3.13 Billion". New York Times. May 7, 1997.
  24. "CVRD Concludes the Sale of CENIBRA" (Press release). PRNewswire. September 14, 2001.
  25. "CVRD Sells its Last Pulp and Paper Assets" (Press release). PRNewswire. June 10, 2002.
  26. "CVRD Divests AÇOMINAS" (Press release). December 7, 2000.
  27. "Cross Shareholding Unwinding: CVRD Sells Its CSN Stake" (Press release). PRNewswire. March 15, 2001.
  28. "CVRD Divests Its Stake in CST" (Press release). PRNewswire. June 28, 2004.
  29. "Ternium Purchases CVRD's Ownership Stake in Siderar" (Press release). Business Wire. December 28, 2006.
  30. "CVRD Restructures Its Investment in Usiminas" (Press release). PRNewswire. November 6, 2006.
  31. "Brazilian mining giant Vale do Rio Doce share offer seen yielding R$1.93 billion". April 17, 2007.
  32. "Vale sells its stake in Usiminas". Steel Orbis. April 17, 2009.
  33. "CVRD Acquired SOCOIMEX" (Press release). May 15, 2000.
  34. "Acquisition of SAMITRI" (Press release). May 30, 2000.
  35. "CVRD Negotiates the Acquisition of FERTECO" (Press release). April 12, 2001.
  36. "CVRD to Invest US$ 6.3 Billion in 2007" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 26, 2007.
  37. Matthew Flynn (April 15, 2003). "CVRD's Caemi purchase might face conditions". BN Americas.
  38. "Commission clears merger between Brazilian iron ore producers subject to undertakings". European Commission. October 30, 2001.
  39. "CVRD in $426m iron-ore acquisition". Mining Weekly. September 5, 2003.
  40. "CVRD Announces Stock Merger With Caemi" (Press release). PRNewswire. January 23, 2006.
  41. "Mitsui to Sell Shares in EBM to CVRD". Mitsui. May 2, 2007.
  42. "CVRD seeking synergies with MBR". BN Americas. May 2, 2007.
  43. "Vale announces the sale of a minority stake of MBR" (Press release). June 30, 2015.
  44. "Acquisition of the Sossego Project Confirms CVRD Copper Strategy" (Press release). PRNewswire. October 25, 2001.
  45. "CVRD Successfully Completes Take-Over Bid for Canico" (Press release). PRNewswire. December 9, 2005.
  46. "Canico accepts sweetened CVRD offer". Globe and Mail. November 12, 2005.
  47. "CVRD Announces Proposed All-Cash Offer to Acquire Inco" (Press release). PRNewswire. August 11, 2006.
  48. "CVRD obtains Investment Canada Act approval" (Press release). Vale. October 18, 2006.
  49. "CVRD concludes acquisition of AMCI Holdings Australia" (Press release). April 20, 2007.
  50. "Vale launches public offer to acquire Paranapanema" (Press release). July 29, 2010.
  51. Fernanda de Biagio (July 29, 2010). "Vale offers to buy Paranapanema for US$1.14bn". BN Americas.
  52. Fernanda de Biagio (September 30, 2010). "VVale concludes acquisition of Mosaic stake in Fosfertil for US$1.03bn". BN Americas.
  53. "Vale acquires Fosfertil shares" (Press release). January 28, 2010.
  54. "Vale mine death plea disappoints union". CBC. September 19, 2013.
  55. "Hydro-Vale aluminium transaction to be completed today" (Press release). Norsk Hydro. February 28, 2011.
  56. Vale sells ferromanganese units to Glencore for $160 mln, Reuters, July 11, 2012
  57. "Vale of Brazil Sells Coal Stake to Mitsui & Co. for About $950 Million". New York Times. December 9, 2014.
  58. "ICL Completes Acquisition Of 100% Of Fosbrasil S.A" (Press release). PRNewswire. December 22, 2014.
  59. "Silver Wheaton Acquires Additional Gold Stream From Vale's Salobo Mine" (Press release). PRNewswire. March 2, 2015.
  60. "Norsk Hydro: Hydro enters LoI with Vale to raise MRN ownership to 45%" (Press release). Globe Newswire. October 9, 2015.
  61. "BHP Billiton reaches $1.55bn settlement with Brazil over dam collapse". The Guardian. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  62. Vale presents strategic planning for 2016 in London
  63. Chaudhuri, Saabira (January 27, 2012). "Public Eye award singles out Brazilian mining company, Barclays". The Guardian.


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