NEW YORK Vale
SA said it is "studying potential synergies" with rival nickel
producer Glencore Xstrata Plc.
The companies are
discussing an integration of their mining, milling and smelting
operations in northern Ontarios Sudbury Basin, Rio de
Janeiro-based Vale said in its third-quarter earnings call Nov.
Discussions over a
deal that would combine aspects of the two companies
Sudbury operations were confirmed to AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin last month (
amm.com, Oct. 15).
"It makes a lot of sense," Vale executive officer of base
metals and information technology Peter Poppinga said during
the earnings call. "We are finishing the mapping phase now, and
the negotiation phase (will begin) about next year."
Poppinga and Vale chief executive officer Murilo Ferreira
said the agreement would likely take the form of an
"unincorporated joint venture," allowing Vale and Baar,
Switzerland-based Glencore Xstrata to unify operations in the
short-term without any binding, long-term corporate