SÃO PAULO Vale SA
is trying to determine "the best destination" for the Ferro
Gusa Carajás SA (FGC) industrial plant, a pig iron
producer in Brazils northern region of
The iron ore miner stopped
production at the plant at the end of 2011, just six years
after it was commissioned through a joint venture with
steelmaker Nucor Corp. in 2005.
Asked whether the plant would be
sold or dismantled, the Rio de Janeiro-based company told
AMM sister publication Steel First that so
far "only a few materials and equipment (have been) transferred
to other Vale units."
It confirmed that FGCs
remaining pig iron inventories had been sold, although it did
not provide details. Sources in Carajás told Steel
First last week that 70,000 tonnes of pig iron from FGC
were sold to Nucor for $403 per tonne c.f.r.
FGC, which has a capacity of
400,000 tonnes per year, was a project that "was born already
dead," a well-placed source in Carajás said. "It was the
result of political pressure. It didnt make sense from
Among the problems was the fact
that it made Vale "both a supplier to and a competitor of" the
regions independent pig iron producers. It also was a
very small asset for Vale, located in an area and within a
business sector in Brazil which from time to time suffered from
accusations of illegal labor and deforestation.
Vale originally owned 78 percent
of the project, but it bought Nucors stake when the
Charlotte, N.C.-based company pulled out of the venture in 2007
amm.com, April 20, 2007).
In a move that foreshadowed the
shuttering of FGC, Vale decided to sell its north Brazilian
forest assets to São Paulo-based pulp and paper producer
Suzano Group in 2009. Carajás pig iron makers, including
FGC, use charcoal made from planted eucalyptus to charge their
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.