Brazilian miner Vale SA, the world's biggest iron ore
producer, has said it is open to working with state-controlled
Petroleo Brasileiro SA towards a possible project cooperation on
"Petrobras uses rare earths and Vale has reserves of rare
earths," Vania Somavilla, Vale SA's human resources and corporate
services director, was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying to
reporters at an event in Minas Gerais state.
Last week, Vale SA and Petrobras finalised an agreement that
will pave the way for cooperation projects on fertilisers raw
materials, oil, gas and biodiesel, areas of which both Brazilian
firms hold interests.
"There are various areas, we're going to put everything on the
table for discussion and work towards a common agenda," Ms
Somavilla said, noting both companies have not yet discussed any
specific joint decision.
Vale SA is a Brazilian multinational diversified metals
and mining corporation and is regarded as the second-largest
mining company in the world. It is the largest producer
of iron ore, pellets, and second largest of nickel. It
also produces manganese, ferroalloys, copper, bauxite,
potash, kaolin, alumina and aluminium.
In October 2011, the world got excited when the company
announced the major discovery of deposits of rare-earth minerals
at its giant Salobo copper-mine project at Carajas in Para
Scheduled to start supplying copper in 2012, Salobo is one of
Vale SA's biggest copper projects. Expected yield in the first
quarter is pegged at 100,000 metric tonnes copper.
The rare earths discovery at Salobo has been likened to the
rare-earth potential of Australia's Olympic Dam multimineral
"Vale would bring big benefits to Brazil by entering into this
rare earth market and I think it's an important thing for the
west as a whole. It would also benefit Vale as a company,"
Aloizio Mercadante, Brazil's science and technology minister,
said in 2011.