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  • Today, 12:45 PM
    • Vale (VALE +0.1%) cut spending by 51% on maintenance of waste dumps and tailings dams in the first nine months of 2016 from the year-ago period to $86.7M, even after last year's Samarco dam failure that killed 19 people and triggered tens of billions of dollars in lawsuits.
    • The move follows similarly large cuts in 2014 and 2015 when Vale enacted aggressive belt-tightening measures in a bid to shore up cash reserves and pay down debt amid the commodity downturn.
    • Brazilian prosecutors say Samarco cut by 29% the budget for its division responsible for dam management between 2012 and 2015, a period in which mine output and tailings rose.
    | Today, 12:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • Yesterday, 11:59 AM
    • Vale (VALE +0.8%) is set to go ahead with the sale of its fertilizer business after its board of directors gave its approval, Reuters reports, citing the Valor Economico newspaper.
    • Most of the fertilizer assets will be sold to Mosaic (MOS -1%), while its plants in Cubatão, São Paulo likely will go to Yara International (OTCPK:YARIY +1.3%), according to the report.
    • Reuters reported earlier this month that Vale was negotiating the sale with MOS and Yara for at least $3.6B.
    • Vale's board reportedly also approved the sale of its Carborough Downs coal mine, the company's last operating mine in Australia.
    | Yesterday, 11:59 AM | 3 Comments
  • Yesterday, 11:22 AM
    • Vale (VALE -0.5%) shares push to a new 52-week high before dipping into the red after the world's top iron ore producer beat Q3 earnings estimates on lower costs, stronger prices and record production.
    • Vale says strong cash generation led to a 61% Y/Y improvement in EBITDA to $3.02B in Q3, while net debt ended the period at $25.96B, up from the prior-year quarter but down $1.5B from this year's Q2; the company has said it aims to cut net debt to $15B by mid-2017, primarily through asset sales.
    • "The more recent emphasis on 'value over volume' certainly appears to be bearing fruit in terms of Vale's cost position," says Bernstein analyst Paul Gait.
    • During today's earnings conference call, CEO Murilo Ferreira hints that a rift may be emerging with BHP Billiton (BHP -1.6%) about how to re-start the Samarco mine, saying it would need to use infrastructure from Vale's neighboring mines if it wants to secure a long-term future.
    | Yesterday, 11:22 AM | 2 Comments
  • Yesterday, 9:05 AM
    • Vale (NYSE:VALE): Q3 EPS of $0.19 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $7.3B (+12.3% Y/Y) beats by $20M.
    • Shares +1.5% PM.
    • Press Release
    | Yesterday, 9:05 AM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 4:38 AM
    • "Samarco continues to explore options to restructure its debt," according to a statement the from iron ore mining joint venture owned by Vale (NYSE:VALE) and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP).
    • The company just missed its second bond payment for October, but has 30 days to remedy the situation, as it deals with the fallout from suspending its operations following last year's dam disaster.
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 4:38 AM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 2:21 PM
    • Brazilian federal prosecutors file homicide charges against 21 people in connection with last year's catastrophic Samarco tailings dam collapse that killed 19 people.
    • The people charged include current and former officials of Vale (VALE +3.1%) and BHP Billiton (BHP +0.1%) and their Samarco joint venture, among them former Samarco CEO Ricardo Vescovi, Vale’s current iron ore director Peter Poppinga, and five Vale and BHP officials who sat on Samarco’s board in recent years.
    • In addition to the criminal case, Brazilian federal prosecutors in May filed a civil lawsuit against Vale, BHP and Samarco seeking 155B reais ($49B) in damages.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 2:21 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 8:23 AM
    • Vale (NYSE:VALEcuts its forecast for 2017 iron ore production to 360M-380M metric tons, below its original forecast for 380M-400M metric tons, as it continues to phase out higher-cost production.
    • The world's top producer of the steel-making raw material already said in July it would not meet the original target but had not provided a new range.
    • Vale says it produced 92.1M tons of iron ore during Q3, up 1.5% Y/Y and 6.1% Q/Q; the Carajás mining complex hit a new production record of 38.7M metric tons of iron ore in the quarter.
    • The company maintains its production estimate for 2016, saying it would be at the lower end of a range of 340M-350M metric tons.
    • Vale's Q3 nickel production totaled 76K metric tons, up 6.1% Y/Y but down 3.3% Q/Q due to scheduled maintenance work at plants in New Caledonia and Canada.
    • Shares +0.8% premarket.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 8:23 AM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 8:18 AM
    • Vale's (NYSE:VALE) plan to dispose of fertilizer assets remains on track despite a request last week by Brazil's state development bank to analyze the deal more carefully, Reuters reports.
    • Terms of the deal, which involves the sale of ~$3.6B in assets to Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) and potentially certain other operations with Norway's Yara International (OTCPK:YARIY), are unlikely to change significantly, according to the report.
    • The bank reportedly pushed back the vote on the fertilizer deal at a Vale board meeting last Thursday.
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 8:18 AM | 10 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 5, 12:27 PM
    • Vale (VALE +1.7%) CEO Murilo Ferreira's strategy of shifting away from its home state of Minas Gerais and toward new deposits in northern Brazil is helping the company outperform its peers in the stock market but is upsetting home state politicians, Bloomberg reports.
    • While such local opposition normally would be of little concern for an independently run company, Vale is controlled by a holding company whose owners include state pension funds and a development bank, and the company's changes come while the new government is suffering from a recession and looking to distance itself from anyone with perceived allegiances to the previous administration.
    • The northern push will allow Vale to start shipping low-cost, high-grade ore early next year from its new $14B S11D mining complex, using state-of-the-art logistics not found in Minas Gerais.
    • But Ferreira is at the center of a growing national controversy over whether his efforts, which are helping Vale thrive, are hurting a region of the country that has served as the company’s cash cow.
    | Wed, Oct. 5, 12:27 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 3, 12:58 PM
    • Fortescue Metals (OTCQX:FSUMF) CEO Nev Power dismisses concerns about oversupply in the iron ore market, taking the view that a prolonged commodity crash is finally giving way to a cyclical upturn.
    • "There is stability in demand in China, and most of the new large volume supply has already come on to the market," Power tells Financial Times, adding that some forecasters are overestimating the speed at which new supply would materialize.
    • The CEO says long-term iron ore demand and price would be determined by Chinese economic policy and the rate of growth in emerging economies across Asia, and that “the demand side will be much more important than new supply.”
    | Mon, Oct. 3, 12:58 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Sep. 29, 4:49 PM
    • Vale (NYSE:VALE) says it reached agreement on new terms with Mitsui (OTCPK:MITSY) for the sale of a stake in its Moatize coal mine and connected railway in Mozambique.
    • Under the new terms, Mitsui will contribute up to $450M for 15% of Vale's 95% stake in the mine - with $255M guaranteed while $195M depends on attaining unspecified goals related to the mine's performance - and $348M for 50% of Vale's 70% stake in assets related to the Nacala Corridor, a railway and port connected to the mine; in the original deal announced in December 2014, Mitsui had agreed to an upfront payment of $450M.
    • The deal had not closed because of problems in securing long-term financing for the project, which is one of Africa's biggest at $4.4B in estimated total costs; Vale already has poured ~$2B into it.
    | Thu, Sep. 29, 4:49 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Sep. 29, 11:27 AM
    • Vale (VALE +0.8%) CEO Murilo Ferrira says he expects balanced supply and demand in the iron ore market to continue, with Brazil adding most of the world's new seaborne supply in 2017.
    • Brazil will add 28M metric tons of ore to the seaborne market in 2017, 58% of the net new supply in the main international market for high-quality ore, the company says.
    • Vale shares have been rising - up more than 11% over five trading days - with the company's board of directors reportedly set to approve asset sales; the Moatze coal mine has a suitor in Japan's Mitsui, but there have been no reports of an interested buyer for the fertilizer business since discussions regarding the sale are in the early stages.
    | Thu, Sep. 29, 11:27 AM
  • Tue, Sep. 27, 4:22 AM
    • Brazil's Samarco, which suspended operations in November after a fatal dam disaster, did not make an interest payment on a $500M bond that was due yesterday.
    • It will now have a 30-day grace period to make the payment.
    • The news could spell trouble for co-owners Vale (NYSE:VALE) and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), which have already discussed a potential debt restructuring for the operation.
    | Tue, Sep. 27, 4:22 AM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 26, 11:53 AM
    • Brazil and Australia, the world’s two largest iron ore exporters, each will add ~100M metric tons of supply through the end of the decade, boosting the global glut and hurting prices, Citigroup says.
    • Shipments from Brazil will expand to 480M tons in 2020 from 371M this year, as Vale (VALE +0.2%) gets set to start a four-year ramp-up of its S11D project, and shipments from Australia, including BHP Billiton (BHP +1%) and Rio Tinto (RIO -0.1%), will rise to 934M tons from 835M, hiking the surplus to 56M tons in 2018 from 20M this year, Citi says
    • However, Citi also forecasts the global surplus likely will start to shrink after 2018, dropping from 56M tons that year to just 8M in 2019, andestimates price-induced curtailments would total ~150M tons in 2018 and more than twice that figure in 2020.
    | Mon, Sep. 26, 11:53 AM | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 21, 2:37 PM
    • BHP Billiton (BHP +2.9%) warns that Brazil’s impending wet season may result in further environmental damage due to the failed Samarco dam, carrying the risk of new fines and legal claims.
    • BHP says in its annual report that work is underway to reinforce dam structures to help contain tailings as the November-to-April rainy season arrives, but new releases or movement of tailings could cause further harm to the environment and have an effect on the feasibility and timing of a Samarco restart.
    • Total potential liabilities related to legal proceedings and enforcement actions “cannot be reliably estimated at this time,” BHP says, as the Samarco joint venture with Vale (VALE +5.3%) has been named in more than 23K small claims in addition to public civil claims made by federal and regional authorities in Brazil.
    | Wed, Sep. 21, 2:37 PM
  • Wed, Sep. 21, 11:58 AM
    • Vale (VALE +4.1%) shoots higher on speculation that it would announce the sale of 75% of a fertilizers unit to Mosaic (MOS +0.9%) for ~$3B, perhaps as early as today.
    • An O Globo newspaper online blog also said a sale of the remaining 25% of the unit was being negotiated with an undisclosed bidder for ~$1B.
    • Based on information from the O Globo blog, MOS would pay the equivalent of 15x the unit's operational earnings, a "very accretive multiple," according to Banco BTG Pactual.
    | Wed, Sep. 21, 11:58 AM | 3 Comments