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Vale

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Mozambique and coal
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Vale is a company dedicated to transform mineral resources into well-known products like bicycles, cars, mobile phones etc by extracting and producing the needed minerals. The company is headquartered in Brazil and has more than 100,000 employees. It operates in 5 continents and more than 27 countries[1]. The company, which was initially known as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, shortened its name to simple Vale in November 2007.[2]

Its website states: “Transformation. That is the core of our work. Vale transformed the earth’s mineral resources into sustainable development. Through mining, we provide the components for the products that are essential to our everyday lives, such as appliances, electronic equipment, cars, computers and construction materials. Conscious of our responsibilities, Vale acts in a responsible manner by caring for the environment, respecting cultural diversity, and helping develop the communities with whom we interact.”[3]

In May 2012 it was announced that Vale sold its Colombian coal assets to Goldman Sachs' Colombian Natural Resources SAS for $407 million cash. Vale reported that they were going to refocus their efforts on their metal extraction production.[4]

Access Vale's corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.


Company History

The company is formally created in 1942 by the Brazilian government, under the name of “Companhia Vale Do Rio Doce”. In 1997 the company becomes a totally privately run company. Into the milestones of the company during the 1970´s we can count: in 1974 the company becomes the world´s largest iron ore exporter with 16% of the transoceanic iron ore market and in 1980 the company acquires “Amza” a mineral company. During the 1980´s the company continues growing by entering into the aluminum market. In addition Vale decided to make an ambitious plan with a focus on globalization. The 1990´s is a very important epoch for the company: in 1995 the company is included into the Brazilian privatization program (part of the company is still publicly owned) and in 1996 Vale´s decentralization program is approved. In 1997, finally, the company is totally privatized by listing it on the Rio De Janeiro Stock Exchange and by selling 41.73% of it to a consortium. As a result in 1998, just one year after the privatization, the profit of the company increases in 46% and in 2000 the company reaches its highest profit ever of R$1.251 billion. And finally during the 2000´s the company begins a very fast growing with the acquisition of a several number of companies and the implementation of new and better technologies. In addition the company has been expending a considerable amount of money (US$ 11 billion in 2008 according to the webpage of the company) in social and environmental programs[5].

Political and Public Influence

Since for a long period of time Vale was (totally and partly depending on the epoch) publicly owned, the company is not used to support any political or public group, person or initiative.

Mining concessions in Mozambique

Vale has coal mining concessions in the Moatize district of Mozambique, and plans to start digging for coal in 2011.[6]

On January 30, 2011, South Korean steel group Posco said it had agreed with Brazilian group Vale to the joint development of a coal mine in the in Tete province of Mozambique. In a statement, the group said that the coal mine could produce 11 million tons of coal per year, to be used for generating electricity.[7]

In May 2011 it was announced that Brazilian company Vale began coal production at an open cast mine in Moatize, Mozambique. Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza and Vale Chairman Roger Agnell in early May 2011 detonated the first charge of explosives initiating coal production. President Guebuza declared that the ceremony was the confirmation that "what was previously a dream is now a majestic undertaking in which natural resources are driving the development of Mozambican human resources".

Vale invested about US $2.0 billion in Mozambique as of May 2011, and the company stated that it intended to invest a further US $4.0 billion over the next five years. Vale expected exports of coal to begin within by July 2011, despite delays in rebuilding the Sena railway line, which links Moatize to the port of Beira.

Currently, Vale-Mozambique employs approximately 8,000 workers, more than 85 percent of whom said to be Mozambican. "In the second phase of the project, which is already being developed, we will employ 15,000 workers," said a company spokesman.[8]

It was announced in November 2011 that Vale was going to spend $6 billion to expand the Moatize mine in the second half of 2014. The investment is aimed at increasing production from 11 million tonnes to 22 million tonnes per year.[9]

Vale begins study on coal terminal at Mozambique’s deepwater Nacala Port

In July 2011 it was announced that Vale began studies on building a coal terminal at Nacala port in northern Mozambique. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 billion.[10]

Proposed coal plants

Vale Tete Power Station is a proposed 1,800 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station by Vale for the Tete province of Mozambique. Construction is planned to begin in 2013.[11]

Coal reaches Beira port

Brazilian mining titan Vale reported in August 2011 that it delivered its first coal by train from its Moatize mine project to the Beira port and expects to export the coal in August 2011. The first train carried 2,200 metric tons of coal from Vale’s Moatize coal mine.

Vale is the first of the major mining companies to start producing thermal and metallurgical coal from the Tete basin. The Moatize project will be able to produce up to 11 million tons of coal, 8.5 million tons of which will be metallurgical coal and 2.5 million tons thermal coal.[12]

Corporate Accountability

The company publishes on its webpage a very organized and structured guide of its corporate governance structure. It also publishes a very complete summary of its social, environmental and labor programs. It has a code of conduct and a code of ethics that promote the equality and wellness of all its employees. According to the webpage of the company, Vale launches an environmental institute in 2000 that is always promoting and investing in environmental initiatives. It has natural reserves, promotes the rehabilitation of areas, the forests and has made big efforts on planting trees (the company has the goal, for instance, of planting 346 million trees by the year 2010)[13]. However Vale has been involved in a several number of controversies.

30 June 2007: “Minera Miski Mayo impone proyecto con un grupo de delincuentes armados”[14]

This article, published in the diary “La Republica” of Perú and written by Edmundo Cruz and Elizabeth Prado, affirms that the mining “Miski Mayo” (part of Vale) decided to conform an armed group to persuade (with physic and moral violence) the inhabitants of the region that not agree with its presence. According to the author the company was hiring people with criminal records and giving them guns to persuade the people of the region. It conformed “cuadros de defensa” or “defense groups” that were divided along the region so that they can have control over the entire zone.

1 July 2007: “Gremio minero exigirá que Miski Mayo responda por grupo armado”[15]

This article was published two days after the accusation reported on the previous new. According to it, the mining trade was going to investigate the accusation according to which Miski Mayo was forming an armed group to persuade the inhabitants that not agree with its presence on the region. The trade said it was very surprised with the new and that if they can prove it, Vale would have to pay the consequences.

11 March 2008: “Brazil landless blockade railway” [16]

The article affirms that a big group of landless blockaded a railway operated by the company. According to the article they were protesting because of a hydroelectric dam, built by Vale, that had, they said, displaced more than 2000 people. They asked for a fast and efficient solution. The company said that the act was “a criminal act of extreme violence” and that the accusation should be made to the government and not to it.

Labor

27 August 2007: “Slave labor persists in Amazon charcoal works”[17]

This article is related to the precarious labor conditions in which many of the charcoal producers have to work. According to the article the places on which these producers work are common buyers of Vale. It is important to mention that the multinational has reacted and, according to the article, decides to ax “iron ore supplies to two para state pig iron producers, Cosipar and Usimar, because its activities “do not comply with the environmental and/or labor legislation in force in Brazil””

22 November 2006: “CVRD won´t sell Iron Ore to Producers that allow slave labor”[18]

In response to the accusations and suspicions of Vale selling Iron Ore to producers that allow slave labor, the company decided to announce that it won´t sell any more Iron Ore to any producer that is suspected of allowing slave labor.

Indian rights

18 April 2007: “Indígenas brasileños piden a Lula más protección por sus tierras” [19]

This article is about a petition that the aborigine community made to the Brazilian President. According to the article, the aborigines were losing their land as a result of the fast expansion of the agricultural projects and the mining initiatives that big companies (like Vale) were developing on their lands. They ask for a compensation for the minerals that have been removed from their lands. For them the right of having lands that nobody touches is a human right because it is an essential part of their culture.

27 January 2006: “Indigenous demonstrators protest coal mining” [20]

This article is about a protest that Venezuelans indigenous were doing against the concessions that the government has given to a consortium (conformed by PDVSA and Vale) to mine coal in the region. They say that that land belongs to them and that exploiting it would be a violation to their culture. They ask for compensations and more that everything for the cancelation of the concessions.

Environment

10 August 2008: “Comuneros protestan contra minera Miski Mayo” [21]

This article is about a protest that a group of country persons were doing against the mining “Miski Mayo” (part of Vale). The country persons were protesting against the presence of this company on their land because, according to them, the operations of this mining put in great risk the Cajamarquino River.

16 June 2003: “Brazilian CVDR fined over toxic spill in train crash” [22]

The article is about a fine that was imposed to Vale because of the terrible consequences that a train crash left for the environment. According to the article more than 185.000 gallons of very dangerous chemicals (methanol, octanol, biflourate potassium and issobutanol) leaked.

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Business Scope

Financial Information

Annual and monthly reports are available on the following webpage:

http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=155

Governance

Executives

Board members & affiliations

Executive/director compensation

Contact Information

CONTACT INFORMATION [23]

Brazil
 Vale:
 Av. Graça Aranha, 26
20030-900 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil
Tel.: 55 21 3814-4477
Fax: 55 21 3814-4040

Canada 
Vale: Inco
200 Bay Street, Royal Bank Plaza
Suite 1500, South Tower, P.O.
Box 70
Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2K2
Canada
Tel: (416) 361-7511
Fax: (416) 361-7781

Australia
: Level 11, 100 Creek Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
Australia
Tel: 61 (0) 7 3136 0500
Fax: 61 (0) 7 3136 0510

China: 25F Aurora Plaza,
99 Fu Cheng Road, Shangai,
200120
China
Tel: 86 21 3860-0388
Fax: 86 21 5882-7199

Japan
: Atago Green Hills Mori Tower, 25F
5-1 Atago 2-chome, Minato-ku
Tokyo – 105-6225
Japan
Tel: 81 3 5401-2971
Fax: 81 3 5401-2989

Singapore: 
7 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec Tower 1 #33-08
038987
Singapore
Tel.: (65) 6304-3050
Fax.: (65) 6884-4739

South Korea
ASEM Tower, 3713, 37th floor
159-1, Samsung-Dong
Kangnan-Ku,

Seoul: 135-789
South Korea
Tel: 82 2 6001-3856
Fax: 82 2 6001-3858/3712

Switzerland: 
Chemin Du Glapin, 4
1162, Saint-Prex – Vaud
Switzerland
Tel: 41 21 806-0555
Fax: 41 21 806-0666

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

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Sources

  1. http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=6
  2. Jeb Blount, "Vale Changes Corporate Logo as It Seeks to Expand (Update1)" , Bloomberg, November 29, 2007.
  3. http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=23
  4. "Vale Sells Colombian Coal Assets to Goldman for $407 Million" Juan Pablo Spinetto, Bloomberg Business, May 28, 2012.
  5. http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=13
  6. "Mozambique: Coal in Three More Tete Districts" AllAfrica, Sep. 28, 2010.
  7. "South Korea’s Posco group joins Brazil’s Vale for coal mining in Mozambique" macauhub, Jan. 31, 2011.
  8. "Brazilian Mining Giant Vale Starts Coal Production In Moatize, Mozambique", Bernama.com, May 24, 2011.
  9. "Brazilian miner Vale to spend $6 bn in expanding Moatize coal project news" Domain-B.com, November 25, 2011.
  10. "Vale Starts Study on Coal Terminal at Mozambique’s Deepwater Nacala Port" Fred Katerere, Bloomberg, June 5, 2010.
  11. Keith Campbell, "Mozambique set to get hydrocarbons billions, Vale unveils power station plan," Mining Weekly, September 28, 2012.
  12. "Vale Mozambique Coal Reaches Port; Eyes Aug Export" WebWire, accessed August 11, 2011.
  13. http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=426
  14. http://www.larepublica.com.pe/content/view/164829/483/
  15. http://www.larepublica.com.pe/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=164986&Itemid=0
  16. http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21177/story.htm
  17. http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN2743662520070827
  18. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=arPjegyeQ7ik
  19. http://actualidad.terra.es/sociedad/articulo/indigenas_lula_brasilenos_proteccion_tierras_1522420.htm
  20. http://www.ipsnoticias.net/nota.asp?idnews=36468
  21. http://www.cnr.org.pe/noticia.php?id=19096
  22. http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21177/story.htm
  23. http://www.vale.com/vale_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=478

External Resources