Vale announced on October 19, 2009, that it had received board approval for an investment budget totaling $12.9 billion for 2010, up from the $10 billion invested during the 12-month period to June 30, 2009.
Geographically, Brazil will account for $8.2 billion of Vale’s capital spending during the coming year; Canada will account for $1.2 billion; and Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Oman and Peru, among others, will account for the remainder.
Here are brief summaries of eight of the largest projects that will draw on Vale investment funds during the coming year:
- In Brazil, the planned Carajás Serra Sul (S11D) iron ore mine is budgeted at $1.2 billion. This project, which still requires board approval, will have capacity to produce 90 million mt/y of iron ore and will require a total investment of $11.3 billion. Completion is planned for the second half of 2013.
- Also in Brazil, the Onça Puma ferronickel project is budgeted at $510 million during the coming year. The project will have a nominal production capacity of 58,000 mt/y of nickel in the form of ferronickel. Project completion is scheduled for the second half of 2010.
Also in Brazil, $600 million will be spent on the Salobo copper project, which has design capacity to produce 127,000 mt/y of copper in concentrate. Project implementation is underway, and civil engineering has begun. Construction is scheduled for completion during the second half of 2011.
- In Oman, $484 million will be spent to complete an iron ore pellet plant having production capacity of 9 million mt/y and a pellet distribution center having capacity to handle 40 million mt/y. Startup is planned for the second half of 2010.
- In Canada, $414 million is budgeted for the Long-Harbour nickel processing facility in Newfoundland and Labrador. This facility is designed to produce 50,000 mt/y of finished nickel, 5,000 mt/y of copper, and 2,500 mt/y of cobalt, processing ore from Vale’s Ovid mine at Voisey’s Bay. Start-up is scheduled for the first half of 2013.
- In Mozambique, $595 million is budgeted for the Moatize coal project, which has design capacity to produce 8.5 million mt/y of metallurgical coal and 2.5 million mt/y of thermal coal. Completion is scheduled for the first half of 2011.
- In Argentina, $304 million is budgeted for the Rio Colorado potash project, which includes development of a mine having initial capacity to produce 2.4 million mt/y of potash, with potential for a future expansion to 4.35 million mt/y; a 350-km railway connection; port facilities; and a power plant. Startup is expected to take place during the second half of 2013. The project is subject to approval by the Vale board.
- In Peru, the Bayóvar phosphate rock project is budgeted at $219 million. The project has design capacity to produce 3.9 million mt/y of phosphate rock and is scheduled for completion during the second half of 2010.
Looking to future sources of demand growth, Vale said it expects emerging economies to continue to drive growing consumption of minerals and metals, noting that over the past 15 years, these economies have increased their share of world base metals consumption from 32% to 59%, and that over the same period China has increased its share of seaborne iron ore trade from 9.7% to 59%.