NEW YORK Vale
SA has touted a policy of "value over volume" as the mining
company looks to idle unprofitable projects in the wake of $1.5
billion in capital spending cuts for 2014.
Vales executive director of base metals and information
technology, said that while capital expenditure cuts would
affect base metal operations to the tune of $800 million, a
combination of cost reductions and operational ramp-ups would
result in "higher value" for the Rio de Janeiro-based
Speaking at the
companys 11th annual Vale Day at the New York Stock
Exchange Dec. 2, Poppinga said its North American plans include
"idling some non-profitable mines in the short term and
(medium) term," while optimizing projects in northern
Ontarios Sudbury Basin and surrounding areas.
Plans include a
previously announced closure of one of two furnaces at
Vales Copper Cliff smelter in Sudbury, ramping up the
Totten nickel-copper mine in Sudbury and completing the Long
Harbour processing plant in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The company is also
looking into expansions at the Thompson Mine in Manitoba, where
it plans to close a refinery and smelter by 2015.
Vale continues to
analyze potential synergies at its Sudbury operations after
confirming it was looking into an "unincorporated joint
venture" with Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore Xstrata Plc (
amm.com, Nov. 7).
Discussions are "going
very well," Poppinga said, citing confidentiality agreements
with outside parties.