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Business & Finance

Brazil's Vale eyes EV market as mulls base metals spinoff

  • The company previously considered spinning off its base metals division in 2014, but delayed the move in 2015, and later abandoned the idea.
  • The company's base metals division, while dwarfed by its core ferrous minerals division, has experienced significant turmoil over the last year.
Published April 27, 2021
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RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA is "closely analyzing" a possible spinoff of its base metals division, Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said a Tuesday, a move that could help the company take advantage of increasing demand from electric car manufacturers.

The company previously considered spinning off its base metals division in 2014, but delayed the move in 2015, and later abandoned the idea.

The company's base metals division, while dwarfed by its core ferrous minerals division, has experienced significant turmoil over the last year.

In late March, the company concluded the sale of its nickel mining assets on the Pacific island of New Caledonia to a consortium involving commodity trader Trafigura. The mine had been shut since December amid violent protests, after its possible divestment became a matter of political debate.

"We always look at the options that are within our reach.... We've started to analyze it," said Bartolomeo, regarding a spinoff, adding that company is in a position to be a significant supplier of premium metals to electric vehicle manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the company posted disappointing copper production figures in the first quarter, amid COVID-19 related operational restrictions.

Brazil-listed common shares in Vale were up 1.1% in late morning trade on Tuesday, outperforming Brazil's benchmark Bovespa equities index, which was down 0.2%.

The company posted its first quarter results on Monday evening, beating the Refinitiv estimate for net income and hitting analysts' margin estimates.

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