Terminal de Ponta Madeira

Rio de Janeiro-based miner Vale, a large company producing iron ore, pellets, and nickel, exceeded expectations by achieving strong iron ore production at the end of the year 2023.

The mining company Vale released production and sales data for the fourth quarter of 2023.

The mining company highlighted that, in December, monthly iron ore production was the highest since 2018.

Iron ore production totaled 89.4 Mt in the fourth quarter of 2023, increasing by 11% y/y.

In 2023, Vale’s production reached 321.2 Mt, above the guidance of 315 Mt, a result 4.3% higher than that obtained in the previous year.

The company attributes the result to ongoing initiatives to improve asset reliability in the S11D; solid performance at the Itabira and Vargem Grande complexes; and increased purchases from third parties.

Furthermore, copper production totaled 99.1 kt in Q4, increasing by 50% y/y, which is the highest level since 2018, as the company reveals.

In 2023, production increased by 29% y/y, totaling 326.6 kt, slightly above the revised 325 kt guidance.

“The improved performance was mainly a result of Salobo 3’s successful ramp-up, with production at the Salobo complex increasing by 87% y/y in Q4, as well as the better performance of Sossego’s plant,” explained the company.

Meanwhile, pellet production totaled 9.9 Mt in Q4, 19% higher y/y. In 2023, production reached 36.5 Mt, 14% higher year/year, supported by higher pellet feed production at Brucutu.

Nickel production decreased by 5% in Q4 vs a year ago, while it also decreased 8% in 2023, totaling 164.9 kt, inline with guidance.

“The lower production was anticipated considering the transition to underground mining at Voisey’s Bay as well as the planned furnace rebuild at Onça Puma,” said the company.