Top iron ore producer Vale S.A. has replaced ferrous business head Jose Carlos Martins, its longest-serving executive, with current Executive Director of Base Metals Peter Poppinga. Despite 236.2 million metric tons of output through Q3, 2014 witnessed the worst market in five years; the Rio de Janeiro-based Vale is one of the world’s biggest diversified miners.

With 20 years’ experience in iron ore, Poppinga’s “record of productivity and cost reductions in base metals will serve him well,” officials said, after leading nickel and copper. Base metals CFO Jennifer Maki will take over as executive director of base metals. Poppinga joined Vale in 1999, while the outgoing Martins joined Vale in 2004.

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