SÃO PAULO Brazils Vale SA had confirmed that in mid-April one of its very large ore carriers (VLOCs) docked for the first time at a Chinese port.
"Its not a fully loaded Valemax, but it was an important step," Vale executive director for iron ore and strategy José Carlos Martins said during an earnings conference call with analysts April 25.
The vessel was partially loaded and had a lower draft to "accommodate local regulations," he said.
Named Vale Malaysia, the vessel docked at Lianyungang Port April 15 with 223,000 tonnes of iron ore.
The vessel on April 5 had unloaded 170,000 tonnes of its payload at the Subic Bay in the Philippines, a source in Shanghai told AMM sister publication Steel First earlier this month.
Valemax vessels can ship up to 400,000 tonnes of iron ore compared with traditional vessels with a 200,000-tonne capacity.
"I think that to berth a (fully loaded) Valemax in China will be a long march for us," Martins noted.
China had been denying entry to the Rio de Janeiro-based miners vessels, citing safety concerns. Vales VLOCs are the worlds largest iron ore carriers.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.