Vale estimates an investment of up to US$ 28 billion until 2012

Vale estimates an investment from US$ 25 billion to US$ 28 billion over the next two years in organic projects for fertilizers, copper and nickel, among others, said Roger Agnelli, the company president, on an interview yesterday, after opening the New York Stock Exchange trade during the 10th Vale’s Day. Agnelli stated that Vale is at the best moment of its history, and revealed that he prays every day for China, a very important country to the world.

However, contrary to expectations, the company did not disclose closed figures of the Vale investment program for 2011 and the next five years. A report from UBS estimates that the company will announce a program for investments of US$ 95 billion to US$ 100 billion over the next five years and of US$ 20 billion for 2011. Such data may be disclosed until the end of the month, since some projects are yet to be approved by the company’s administration council.

Despite having caused a certain disappointment in the market with the postponement of investment figures, Agnelli managed to convey a lot of trust on the future by highlighting that the company has great assets in the world (Simandou, a new Carajás in Africa, copper in Zambia, coal in Mozambique) and intends to focus on the development of all of them. The executive ensured Vale’s priority in organic projects, and stated that the company does not intend to make major acquisitions – it will use opportunities of purchase of small assets to accelerate and expand new ongoing projects.

Despite the market not appreciating the announcement of gigantic figures for investment in medium and long term, because there is less money to distribute to shareholders, Agnelli was able to excite the analysts by ensuring that all investment from Vale are approved on the test of actual return of 12% in dollar un-leveraged. This percentage is above the company’s capital cost (weighed between debts and own capital) in the range of 8%.

Also yesterday, Vale disclosed the production numbers for the third quarter. They exceeded expectations from analysts and leveraged the company’s shares. The company produced in the period 82.6 million tons of iron ore, the best quarterly performance since the record 85.8 million tons on the third quarter of 2008, and accumulated 227.5 million tons of this input in the first nine months of the year. “It was very strong,” highlighted a source in the mining industry.

The third quarter of the year tends to be the one with Vale’s best performance. Pedro Galdi, analyst from SLW Corretora, expects for the period an operational result of US$ 7.170 billion and net profit of approximately US$ 4.780 billion, both a record. According to production data, it will not be difficult for Vale to get there. In addition to the surprising production of iron ore, the pellet production added 13.6 million tons from July to September – and 36.8 million tons in the year. The total production of refined nickel achieved 44,000 tons, indicating that the operations of Vale Inco in Canada are nearly normal with the end of the long strike in Sudbury. For the year, it accumulates 114,000 tons. The copper production achieved 58,000 tons – 131,000 in the year.

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