LONDON Vale SA
will focus on keeping copper output above 500,000 tonnes per
year for the next 10 years following dramatic growth in Brazil
over the past decade, the companys business development
director said Oct. 3.
Vale had no copper
production assets in Brazil a decade ago, but after buying out
joint-venture partners in the Salobo and Sossego projects and
bringing both mines into production, the companys total
copper output has grown to more than 500,000 tonnes per year,
Paulo Araujo told delegates at the inaugural Copper
Concentrates Conference in London hosted by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.
could add another 100,000 tonnes per year to Brazilian output,
but development will need to be self-financed and will depend
on market conditions, he said.
Vale made decisions to
invest in Salobo and Sossego during periods of weakness in the
copper market, and as such it has been focused on targeting low
capital expenditure production growth, Araujo said.
"We are now focused on
having a copper business that is 100 percent self-financed and
keeps production at 500,000 tonnes per year, or maybe 600,000
tonnes per year (with investments in Salobo and Sossego)," he
contributions from the Sudbury and Lubambe mines, Vales
global output is broadly similar to that of Vancouver, British
Columbia-based KGHM International Ltd., London-based Rio Tinto
Plc or Antofagasta Plc, London, he said.
In 2010, Rio de
Janeiro-based Vale set out on a campaign to increase its annual
copper production to 1 million tonnes by 2017, but it has since
revised this growth plan in response to higher capital
expenditure costs and weaker overall copper market conditions,
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal