Tag Archives: Eduardo Bartolomeo

Vale sells New Caledonia nickel-cobalt operations to consortium

Vale confirms that its Vale Canada Limited subsidiary has concluded the sale of its ownership interest in Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie SAS (VNC) to the Prony Resources New Caledonia consortium.

The consortium of investors, including Trafigura, comprises a majority and non-dilutable shareholding for New Caledonian interests, Vale said.

Eduardo Bartolomeo, CEO of Vale, said: “After several months of negotiations, I am pleased that we concluded our divestment of VNC, benefitting employees, New Caledonia and all its stakeholders. Vale is fully committed to this transaction. It meets the guarantees required at the financial, social and environmental levels and offers a sustainable future for the operations.”

Vale’s intent from the beginning of the divestment process was to withdraw from New Caledonia in an orderly and responsible manner, with the company saying the deal accomplishes that.

Vale previously tried to sell the operations to Australia-based New Century Resources, but the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

The deal provides the former VNC operations with a financial package totaling $1.1 billion, of which Vale Canada Limited is contributing $555 million to support the continuity of the operations. The financing of the “Pact for the Sustainable Development of the Deep South” will also be secured by Vale, it said.

The Pact for Sustainable Development of the Deep South was signed on September 27, 2008, between Vale New Caledonia and communities south of the “Grand” for a period of 30 years. It urges the industry to create and implement specific measures to support the development of the Deep South in a sustainable manner.

In addition to its financial commitment to continue operations, Vale will continue to have the right to a long-term nickel supply agreement for a proportion of the operation’s production, allowing it to, the company says, continue addressing the growing demand for nickel by the electric vehicle industry.

Mark Travers, Executive Vice President for Base Metals with Vale, said: “Along with the continuation of the Pact, the deal also allows the Lucy Project for dry storage of tailings to proceed. We want to acknowledge the time and effort of all stakeholders to achieving this deal, including the French State, and especially the employees of VNC for their trust and support through a lengthy and uncertain process.”

VNC is a producer of nickel and cobalt from the Goro mine. It also has a processing plant and a port.

Vale to tackle Scope 1 and 2 emissions with plus-$2 billion investment

Vale has topped its fellow Tier 1 miners with a plan to invest at least $2 billion in an effort to combat climate change.

The amount, the largest ever committed by the mining industry to combat climate change, according to the company, is geared towards reducing its direct and indirect absolute emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 33% by 2030.

Rio Tinto, in February, announced a plan to invest “more than $1 billion” over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets, while BHP, in July 2019, announced a five-year, $400 million Climate Investment Program to develop technologies to reduce emissions from its own operations as well as those generated from the use of its resources.

The goal complies with the Paris Agreement, which established a maximum limit to ensure the global average temperature rose by no more than 2°C by 2100, Vale said.

“With this initiative, Vale aims to transform itself into a company with zero net emissions in Scope 1 and 2 by 2050, leading the industry towards carbon-neutral mining,” the company said.

The plan was unveiled yesterday (May 12) by Vale’s CEO, Eduardo Bartolomeo, during the annual meeting with analysts from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, carried out virtually.

It is an advance on the corporate climate agenda, which Vale set out in December last year.

Back then, Vale announced its goal to reduce its emissions and established an internal carbon pricing of $50/t of CO2, equivalent for capital projects and competitors.

Bartolomeo said: “This agenda is a result of a listening process, aligned with a real climate change-related demand from society for a robust reduction in emissions in the Scope 1 and 2. We are stepping forward to develop a New Pact with Society with more transparency and responsibility.”

Vale has established the Low Carbon Forum – a group led by the CEO and comprised of six executive directors and employees from different areas of the company – whose purpose is to guide the implementation of these Scope 1 and 2 commitments.

According to Luiz Eduardo Osorio, Vale’s Executive Director for Institutional Relations, Communication and Sustainability, 35 initiatives are under analysis using the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve – a tool that allows the ordering of projects by costs and potential for reducing emissions.

He said: “There are projects for the use of biodiesel in the area of Base Metals, energy efficiency, electrification of mines and railroads, biofuels in pelletising instead of coal, and renewable energy because one of Vale’s goals is to achieve 100% of self-production of electric power from clean sources, such as wind and solar, in its plants around the world.”

By the end of the second half of this year, some pilot projects will be in operation, it said.

The Vitória-Minas railroad will have the first 100% electric locomotive, electric vehicles will be tested in underground operation at the Creighton (photo above is of a trial of the Rokion battery-powered R200 personnel carrier at Creighton) and Coleman mines in Canada, and Vale’s pelletising plant in São Luís (Maranhão) will replace coal with biofuel, it said.

The base year used to calculate the carbon goal was 2017, when Vale’s emissions reached 14.1 Mt CO2 equivalent. The goal is to reduce it to 9.5 Mt of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

Vale will also recover and protect another 500,000 ha of native forest by 2030, on top of the more than 1 Mha it currently protects worldwide, it said.

“In addition to its ambition to neutralise its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2050, Vale aims to establish a goal for Scope 3 emissions to encourage clients and suppliers in the same direction,” it said.

Through active engagement with clients from the steel and metallurgy industries, Vale says it will work to reduce emissions in its value chain.

“The company will guide its operations based on win-win relationships, less intensive products and new technologies,” it said.

BHP and Vale invest in COVID-19 testing and mitigation measures in Chile, Brazil

BHP and Vale have invested in measures to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Chile and Brazil, respectively.

While BHP has already announced COVID-19-related plans to hire more people and provide preventative measures in Australia, on top of freeing up money for to support local suppliers, it has now tabled its $8 million strategy in Chile aimed at strengthening the country’s public health network in the face of the pandemic.

It has joined with the Medical Faculty of Universidad Católica with the immediate objective of raising the testing capacity and strengthening the Familiar Health Centers of the South East Area of the Metropolitan Region, as well as Antofagasta and Tarapacá – where its majority-owned Escondida and Cerro Colorado copper operations, respectively, reside.

This plan includes:

  • An Early Detection Program through rapid testing, in support of the Primary Attention Centers (this includes 150,000 rapid tests for detecting the virus). This system includes 10 units for sampling, with mobile tents and permanent units, the company said;
  • Expansion of laboratory capacity, including the purchase of new analysis equipment to maximise the speed for processing tests. Results will be delivered to patients in 24 hours, BHP said;
  • Community surveillance for cases that test positive and their contacts, based at Primary Attention Centers and telemedicine; and
  • A 24/7 call centre for identifying potential cases.

Daniel Malchuk, President Operations at Minerals Americas, said: “This plan shows our commitment and our profound belief that we should work together to face the difficult times we are going through.”

In addition, BHP will implement a program to support communities and high-risk vulnerable groups in the regions where the company operates, Antofagasta and Tarapacá. This will allow the delivery of supplies, sanitisation of public areas, areas for the isolation of potential cases and support to the state network to increase medical rounds, supplies and treatment for high-risk people, it said.

BHP previously changed the terms of payment for all providers and collaborators in Chile, with large taxpayers cut to 30 days, small and medium enterprises reduced to 14 days and local companies from the Antofagasta and Tarapacá Regions having their terms cut to seven days.

Vale, meanwhile, said its China subsidiary had recently taken delivery of the first batch of 5 million rapid test kits to diagnose COVID-19.

The tests, which can provide results in just 15 minutes, were purchased from China and will be delivered to the Brazilian government, it said. Produced by the Chinese company Wondfo, the test is registered at the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa, Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária) and was donated by Vale to help the Brazil Government fight the spread of the virus in the country.

Some 500,000 units are currently in transit (by plane) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, in the Chinese province of Guangdong, on their way to the International Airport of Guarulhos (São Paulo). They are expected to arrive in Brazil this evening.

Vale’s CEO, Eduardo Bartolomeo, said: “Vale offers this support to the Brazilian society at this time when the country is united for the health and safety of people. We are using our logistics network from Asia to bring inputs that can make a difference in people’s lives in Brazil.”

The remaining 4.5 million units will be delivered by the supplier in April, Vale said.

The amount of test kits purchased by Vale represents half of the needs estimated by the Brazilian Ministry of Health as of March 22, it explained.