12.04 +0.19 (1.58%)
After hours: 4:29PM EST
|Bid||11.60 x 27000|
|Ask||11.85 x 39400|
|Day's range||11.81 - 12.12|
|52-week range||10.20 - 14.19|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.12|
|PE ratio (TTM)||17.53|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.69 (5.76%)|
|Ex-dividend date||26 Dec 2019|
|1y target est||14.73|
Brazil's Vale SA on Tuesday posted a sharp output decline and $671 million (518.23 million pounds) in net additional provisions stemming from a deadly dam burst about a year ago, underlining the enduring effects of the incident on the iron ore giant. In a statement, the company reported a 22.4% fall in fourth-quarter iron ore production from the same period last year and a 9.6% drop in quarterly terms. With that, Vale officially lost its position in 2019 as the world's top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto .
The filing of murder charges against the former CEO of Brazilian miner Vale SA and 15 others for a 2019 dam collapse that killed more than 250 people was hailed by victims' families as a major step in bringing those responsible to justice. Federal investigators are yet to identify the cause of the Jan. 25, 2019 collapse of a tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine dam east of Brumadinho, which released a sea of mud that slammed into Vale's offices and cut through a nearby community, killing 259 people and leaving 11 still missing. "I don't think there are the concrete elements required for homicide charges, precisely because this technical part is missing," Tangerino added.
(Bloomberg) -- Exactly one year ago, a Brazilian dam operated by iron ore miner Vale SA gave way to a tsunami of 9.7 million cubic meters of mining sludge that buried part of a town and killed 270 people.In the days, weeks and months since Jan. 25, 2019, the world’s largest iron ore miner has made progress in undoing some—but not all—of the damage done when the dam burst. Its chief executive officer stepped down. (He was charged with homicide this week by local prosecutors.) Vale’s stock price has recovered, and output is on its way back. But the community that was unmade when the structure fell will never truly be remade.People who were in the city of Brumadinho on Jan. 25, 2019, and those who have visited since then struggle to find words to describe the devastation in a way the outside world can grasp. It is, even to those who lived through the tragedy, beyond understanding.Gone is the constant whoosh of helicopters overhead that spirited out the dead on dangling stretchers. In their place is the sound of hundreds of bulldozers and trucks.While the surrounding community will never be rebuilt, Vale is on the hook for at least cleaning up the sludge that’s laced with iron ore residue and mining waste so that it doesn’t further pollute Brumadinho water supplies. It is laborious work that requires draining the water from the mud, packing the dirt down into bricks, piling them up in the countryside and covering them up with replanted vegetation.Local firefighters still scour the mud at Brumadinho. Each day, the hunt for the missing goes on. And each day, more often than not, body parts are all they can find.In the days after the collapse, the mud was so wet in some areas that body-sniffing rescue dogs couldn’t catch scents. A team of 150 rescuers crawled through the wreckage and searched the sludge with their hands. So far, 259 bodies have been identified through DNA sampling; around Christmas 2019, two more bodies were found. Eleven people are still missing, and the 90 firefighters that remain say they won't give up until they find them. They use excavators now to dig, watching closely as the dirt falls to the ground for any signs of the dead.“We haven't stopped for a single day, not even on Christmas, and we don't plan to,” Lieutenant Douglas Constantino says. “Those families need closure.” Zeca Goncalves was finishing lunch when he heard what sounded like an explosion. He rushed out of his hilltop home to find that a wall of mud had buried part of the city where he was born. The 68-year-old retired bricklayer looked toward a bed and breakfast at which two cousins and two nephews worked, but he could no longer see it. A neighbor’s house, some 20 meters away from his own, was also destroyed.“I just stood there and stared at it for some 15 minutes. I went completely dumbfounded,” he said. “I went home to tell my wife, but she didn't believe me. So I came back out and stared for hours more.”Just about everyone in the mining town knew someone—most likely more than one—who died that day. Goncalves’s four relatives, along with several friends, were among them. Many of the people who remained took the cash payouts Vale offered, packed up and moved away. Direct family members got at least 700,000 reais (about $170,000), while others such as Goncalves received 50,000 reais, plus small monthly payouts. Goncalves can point out four or five houses on his street in the Corrego do Feijao neighborhood that now stand empty. He said he plans to stay put and has used the money to buy a car. “This used to be the best place ever,” he recalled.People across Minas Gerais state are still furious at Vale over the disaster. Fabio Schvartsman, who was the company’s CEO at the time, was charged this week with 270 counts of homicide, while Vale and a contractor, TUV SUD, were accused of environmental crimes. State prosecutors allege that the 65-year-old executive knew about the risks but made false statements and hid information to protect the company’s share price.“They turned a blind eye,” Prosecutor General Antonio Sergio Tonet told reporters. Their negligence, another official added, caused “the dam to break with the strength of a tsunami that destroyed everything in its way."In certain pockets around Brazil, people still ask themselves: Could we be next? A key factor in the disaster was the type of structure Vale used to contain tailings from its upstream mining operations. Mud built up behind a front wall that was 700 meters wide and as tall as a 24-story building. But there was internal erosion, and the dense mud liquefied. Prosecutors say the company intentionally hid signs that the structure was failing. It has been ordered to dismantle at least nine similar dams and reintegrate them back into their environment.Residents around the riskiest of the dams were relocated to settlements. But others still live nearby, always on alert for the sirens that Vale installed to warn them if it becomes time to flee. All in all, Vale has spent $6.3 billion on provisions and expenses related to Brumadinho. To contact the author of this story: Sabrina Valle in Rio De Janeiro at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessica Brice at firstname.lastname@example.org, Philip Brian TabuasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
BHP Group (BHP) reported year-over-year increase in copper and iron ore production during the first half of fiscal 2020 and maintains guidance for fiscal 2020.
(Bloomberg) -- Fabio Schvartsman was supposed to be the fresh face that would help Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, advance after a 2015 dam collapse. Instead, the 65-year-old is facing homicide charges after the company’s latest deadly disaster.While he knew little of mining and metals, Schvartsman had more than doubled the shares at Klabin SA, Brazil’s largest paper producer, where he secured financing to roll out low-cost projects and gained a reputation for cost efficiency. He was named to lead Vale in May 2017, just as the company brought the industry’s largest new project online, boosting both production and profit.Now, 2 1/2 years later, Schvartsman stands accused of 270 counts of homicide as a result of a second dam collapse near Brumadinho in January 2019. He’s charged with knowing ahead of time of safety issues at the massive tailings dam and helping hide them prior to the deadliest such event in Brazil’s history.Ironically, Schvartsman -- who left the top post in March -- began his role as the Vale CEO with a vow never to allow a repeat of the Mariana dam failure in 2015. Now, he’s awaiting a judge’s decision on the state charges he faces for Brumadinho, and is facing the possibility of federal charges ahead.“Fabio Schvartsman acted directly to create corporate incentives, not to avoid risks, but to channel efforts into protecting Vale’s market value,” Willian Coelho, a state prosecutor, told reporters in Minas Gerais.He “entered the role with the slogan ‘Mariana Never Again,’” Coelho said. “But it was a false slogan.”In a statement, Vale said it was perplexed by the accusations of fraud. “It is important to remember that other agencies are also investigating the case,” the company statement said “And it is premature to point out a conscious risk taking to cause a deliberate breach of the dam.”‘A Brazilian Jewel’Schvartsman, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. In a February 14 public hearing last year, he called Vale “a Brazilian jewel that can not be condemned for an accident that happened in one of its dams, even as it was a tragedy.”Schvartsman was seen by many as a potential savior for a company that had been on a roller coaster ride with the previous CEO. Under Murilo Ferreira, Vale’s shares lost about 30% as commodity prices tumbled amid slowing Chinese demand and expanding supply. Ferreira, though, helped push through the opening of a $14 billion mining complex in an area where ore quality is higher and costs will be lower.Criticism over the 2015 Mariana disaster, however, dogged him, and eventually he was pushed aside, making way for Schvartsman. For awhile, it was a perfect match. Vale shares almost doubled between the time Schvartsman was named CEO and when the dam disaster hit.Previous CEOOf all the Brazilian business leaders to be charged in recent years, Schvartsman stands out with the homicide charges. Ferreira wasn’t included in criminal charges from the 2015 dam spill. Corruption and insider trading have been more common crimes in recent years.In December, Brazilian prosecutors filed a case against meatpacker JBS SA, its holding company and 14 people for alleged fraud in loans from the nation’s development bank. Prosecutors requested the companies and founders Joesley and Wesley Batista be convicted for wrongdoing regarding transactions between the meat giant and BNDES that resulted in illegal enrichment.Less than three months earlier, Eike Batista, formerly Brazil’s richest man and no relation to the JBS owners, was sentenced to an additional eight years and seven months of prison time for insider trading. Batista had already been convicted for paying $16.6 million to get government contracts as part of a sprawling corruption probe known as Carwash and sentenced to 30 years, which he is serving under house arrest.While Schvartsman was charged with homicide and Vale was accused of environmental crimes, it is unclear when or if he will actually be put behind bars. A criminal case from the 2015 dam spill, which also included homicide charges against some Vale executives, was suspended by in 2017 after a judge found evidence of illegal wire tapping by investigators.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at email@example.com;Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at email@example.com, Reg Gale, Luzi Ann JavierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Brazilian state prosecutors on Tuesday charged Fabio Schvartsman, the former chief executive of mining giant Vale SA , and 15 other people with homicide for a dam disaster last year that killed more than 250 people, according to the charging document seen by Reuters. In addition to homicide charges, Vale and TUV SUD, the German company responsible for inspecting the dam, were charged with environmental crimes. Of the 16 individuals charged, 11 had worked for Vale and five for TUV SUD, prosecutors said.
(Bloomberg) -- Vale SA was dealt back-to-back blows on Tuesday as Brazilian officials announced criminal charges including for homicide in the wake of last year’s deadly dam collapse, while a prosecutor indicated additional output cuts may be on the horizon.Former Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman was charged with 270 counts of homicide, and the world’s largest iron ore miner and a contractor, TUV SUD, were accused of environmental crimes. Minas Gerais state prosecutors allege that the 65-year-old executive, who was at the helm when the Brumadinho disaster unleashed a deluge of sludge that buried a small town, knew about the risks, but made false statements and hid information to protect the company’s share price.“Fabio Schvartsman acted directly to create corporate incentives, not to avoid risks, but to channel efforts into protecting Vale’s market value,” William Coelho, a state prosecutor, told reporters in Minas Gerais. Schvartsman took over in 2017, a little less than two years after the Mariana tailings dam collapsed in a separate accident, killing 19. “He entered the role with the slogan ‘Mariana Never Again,’ but it was a false slogan.”Globally, it’s rare that a top executive would be charged with murder because of corporate actions -- though not totally unheard of. The head of Union Carbide Corp. was charged with manslaughter by Indian authorities for a 1984 gas leak that killed thousands in Bhopal (he was arrested but never faced trial after the U.S. refused to extradite him). The CEO of ThysssenKrupp AG’s Italian unit was sentenced to prison after a fire at a steel plant there killed seven workers in 2007; and the CEO of a South Korean ferry company was charged with homicide through occupational negligence after hundreds died when his vessel sank in 2014.Schvartsman ranks as the highest-profile executive yet to face charges after at the disaster in January 2019. He took a leave from his post in March after federal prosecutors recommended his immediate exit. Other former employees were also accused of homicide. Prosecutors filed charges against 21 people in 2016 for the Mariana disaster.Vale expressed “its perplexity at the accusations of fraud,” the miner said in a statement. “It is important to remember that other agencies are also investigating the case, and it is premature to point out a conscious risk taking to cause a deliberate breach of the dam.”As CEO, Schvartsman pushed ambitious plans to ramp up production, but Brumadinho changed all that. Plans to boost production to between 390 million tons and 400 million tons by 2019 were delayed by three years. Output in 2019 came in closer to 350 million tons.One of the prosecutors on the task force investigating the accident is reviewing additional operations and said she hasn’t ruled out the possibility that more production could be affected in what would be a fresh blow to the world’s largest iron ore miner. The shuttering of capacity last year helped benchmark iron ore prices surge 27% in 2019.“Last year’s experience showed us Vale wasn’t proactive in disclosing risks to authorities,” said Andressa Lanchotti, coordinator of the task force. “To the contrary, the company initially denied any risks at all.”More Dams at RiskSafety concerns have already prompted Vale to halt some production, including the Brucutu mine after it was flagged by an independent auditor and not by the company, Lanchotti told Bloomberg. Vale temporarily suspended part of Brucutu production in December after raising the risk level of the nearby Laranjeiras dam from 0 to a 1, the second lowest on four-tier scale where 3 means a burst is imminent. A level 2 requires evacuations.Independent auditors including Los Angeles-based Aecom are analyzing 25 Vale mines in Minas Gerais, as well as a 100 dams and dikes, Lanchotti said. The auditors were hired as part of a settlement between Vale and the Minas Gerais Prosecutor’s Office, whose task force includes about 20 people. Vale is covering the costs of the audit, but the information is sent directly to authorities.“It’s information the Prosecutor’s Office is still receiving,” she said during an interview in Belo Horizonte, the state’s capital. “Since the audit is ongoing, I can’t rule out new problems that could be identified in coming days or months that would require suspensions.”Vale is working to prevent possible stoppages at four level 3 mines, including at the Gongo Soco mine. But Lanchotti said more problems may be out there at mines that sit lower on the risk scale. She cited the Itabirucu dam in Itabira, Vale’s birthplace and a top iron-ore region. Vale partially shut production there after Aecom recommended that the structure be categorized as a level 1 in October.Committed to Safety“It’s important to note that Vale has always been committed to the safety of people and structures, and has been continuously improving its preventive risk management processes,” Vale said in response to Bloomberg questions. The auditing process is part of “the company’s commitment to provide the greatest transparency possible.”The company also said that results of the audits and relevant data is continuously shared with authorities.Vale’s American depositary receipts tumbled 2.8% to $13.25 in New York, the biggest decline since November. In Sao Paulo trading, shares were down 2.3%.In October, Vale said it posted $6.3 billion in expenses related to the Brumadinho rupture, which sent iron-ore prices on a roller coaster. The company lost about a fourth of its market value in the immediate aftermath, but it has since largely recovered in Sao Paulo trading.A report released in December from a panel of experts commissioned by Vale blamed faulty design for the dam’s collapse. The facility was too steep and had insufficient drainage, resulting in high water levels that put stress on the structure, according to the report.In September, Brazilian police indicted Vale, the testing service TUV SUD and 13 employees of the two companies for producing misleading documents about the safety of the dam that buried the community of Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais state.\--With assistance from Joe Richter and Krystal Chia.To contact the reporters on this story: Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at firstname.lastname@example.org;Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at firstname.lastname@example.org, Phoebe Sedgman, Alpana SarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The 2019 mining disaster in Brazil is expected to lead to a double-digit jump in costs to insure U.S. tailings dams that store mining waste against liability for environmental catastrophes. Tailings dams, some of which tower dozens of meters high and stretch for several kilometers (miles), are the most common waste-disposal method for mining companies, whether they extract iron ore, gold or copper. The deadly collapse last January of the dam at Vale SA's Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in Brumadinho rocked the mining industry and spurred calls for massive operational changes.
A Brazilian state prosecutor expects to bring criminal charges "in the next few days" against miner Vale over a mining waste dam collapse that killed at least 259 people, even as the prosecutor's federal counterpart continues to investigate the case. Andressa de Oliveira Lanchotti, coordinator for the task force of state prosecutors investigating the disaster, told Reuters they expect to indict 15 to 20 people, including executives from Vale and employees from German inspection firm TÜV SÜD - as well as the companies themselves. "What we can take away from the investigations is there were several factors pointing to risk - the risk was not unknown," Lanchotti said, disputing Vale's contention that it had no way of knowing that the dam that unleashed an avalanche of mining waste on the Brazilian town of Brumadinho in January 2019 posed a danger.
A dam owned by iron ore company Vale SA that was the subject of an investigative report by a TV program last week is structurally sound and there is no reason for concern, Brazil's national mining regulator said late on Tuesday. On Friday, the program "Jornal da Band" said it had obtained documents saying that Vale's B-5 dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais had cracks, and that state prosecutors had asked the firm to hire independent auditors to look into the matter. The dam is located near the town of Brumadinho, where a Vale tailings dam burst in January, killing hundreds.
Vale S.A (VALE) trims production and sales guidance for first-quarter 2020, as the company will lower its Brucutu-mine output for one-two months.
Investing.com - Steel and mining companies were higher in midday trade on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was re-implementing steel tariffs on imports from Brazil and Argentina.