Vale’s New Caledonia ‘exit’ path unclear

Reversing a recent re-commitment to its New Caledonian operations, Brazilian miner Vale told investors it would “exit VNC (Vale New Caledonia)”, but some analysts wonder if or how Vale will extricate itself from the long-troubled South Pacific island venture.

Vale did not specify at its annual investor briefing how it would exit the nickel and cobalt mine.
“By the first half of 2020, we will tell you what is the path going forward,” Vale’s chief financial officer Luciano Siani Pires said at Vale Day at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday December 2.
The reversal came almost a year to the day of Vale telling investors it would invest half a billion dollars in VNC through 2022 and raise nickel output there to 50,000 tonnes per year, from 35,000 tpy in 2018.
Actually, VNC’s production continued to fall since that re-commitment at Vale Day 2018, and this quarter Vale wrote down VNC’s value by $1.6 billion.

VNC produced 6,400 tonnes of nickel in the third quarter of 2019, 43% of its originally targeted capacity, back in 2008 when it was expected...


Orla O'Sullivan

December 10, 2019

04:30 GMT

New York