Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale received non-binding offers for its New Caledonia nickel mine at the end of February, the company indicated in a call with analysts this week. The company did not disclose how many investors had shown interest in the mine.


According to Mark Travers, base metals director, Vale, the company was confident about finding a potential investor for the mine within the next two months, despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.


Vale had confirmed it was looking to divest from New Caledonia’s nickel mining business in December 2019 and has been in talks with interested buyers since November 2019. The miner had earlier failed to sell its stake in New Caledonia and stopped looking for a partner in 2018, according to media reports.


Timbopeba Mine

Vale also reported that it will resume dry processing operations at its Timbopeba Mine, part of the Mariana Complex, next week. 

The facility will have a monthly production of 330,000 tons (299,370mt) of iron ore fines. Operations at the Timbopeba mine were suspended since March 2019.


Wet processing activities are expected to resume in the fourth quarter of this year, which would enable the operation to achieve its full production capacity of around 1mn mt per month. 


Vale has revised its production guidance for 2020 at 310-330mn mt of iron ore fines, 35-40mn mt pellets, and 360,000- 380,000mt of copper. Its nickel production excluding New Caledonia is expected to reach 180,000-195,000mt.


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