Vale may take up a deep-berth port in Northern Brazil to host its Valemax vessels in a bid to increase iron ore shipments to China.
According to media reports, the miner is in talks with the authorities at Alcantara Port terminal, which has a deep-water facility where Vale’s 400,000mt ore transport vessels could dock for loading.
Vale produced 127.2mn mt of iron ore in the first half of 2020 and has declared a 400mn mt per year iron ore production guidance in its 2022 outlook, owing to the fact that most of its H1 2020 profits came from this business.
It recently also hinted at expansion of its Serra Leste mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil to increase the mine’s output from 6mn mt to 10mn mt per year. Vale has also accelerated the development of a 307mn mt iron ore mine in Africa.
Chinese iron ore imports continue to rise extensively, including the use of blockchain to seal multi-million-dollar iron ore deals with Rio Tinto and BHP, among others.
With all these factors in mind, Vale requires a larger port to transport all the iron ore it plans to produce in the near future. Alcantara could be the future for the Valemax vessels, which are larger than Capesize bulk carriers. Currently, Vale operates 32 of these vessels across the world.