United States

Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 6-K

 

Report of Foreign Private Issuer

Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16

of the

Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For the month of

 

January 2024

 

Vale S.A.

 

Praia de Botafogo nº 186, 18º andar, Botafogo
22250-145 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

(Address of principal executive office)

 

(Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports under cover of Form 20-F or Form 40-F.)

 

(Check One) Form 20-F x Form 40-F ¨

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Vale’s production and sales in 4Q23 and 2023

Rio de Janeiro, January 29th, 2024

Vale’s Q4 performance was marked by solid production and sales in all businesses. In December, iron ore achieved its highest monthly output since 2018. Copper production increased by 50% y/y, the highest level since 2018. In nickel, price realization was 7% above LME prices.
Iron ore production totaled 89.4 Mt in Q4, increasing by 11% y/y. In 2023, production reached 321.2 Mt, above our 315 Mt guidance, and 4.3% higher y/y as a result of: (i) continued initiatives to improve asset reliability at S11D; (ii) solid performance at Itabira and Vargem Grande complexes; and (iii) higher third-party purchases.
Pellets production totaled 9.9 Mt in Q4, 19% higher y/y. In 2023, production reached 36.5 Mt, 14% higher y/y, supported by higher pellet feed production at Brucutu. Briquettes production started in Q4, an important step in Vale’s strategy to support steelmaking decarbonization by expanding the iron ore agglomerates supply.
Copper production totaled 99.1 kt in Q4, increasing by 50% y/y. In 2023, production increased by 29% y/y, totaling 326.6 kt, slightly above our revised 325 kt guidance. The improved performance was mainly a result of Salobo 3’s successful ramp-up, with production at the Salobo complex increasing by 87% y/y in Q4, as well as the better performance of Sossego’s plant.
Nickel production decreased by 5% in Q4 vs a year ago, while it also decreased 8% in 2023, totaling 164.9 kt, in-line with guidance. The lower production was anticipated considering the transition to underground mining at Voisey’s Bay as well as the planned furnace rebuild at Onça Puma.

 

 

 

Production summary

            % change 2024 guidance  2023 guidance  
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Iron ore1 89,397 86,238 80,852 321,154 307,793 3.7% 10.6% 4.3% 310-320 Mt ~315 Mt
Pellets 9,851 9,175 8,261 36,455 32,111 7.4% 19.2% 13.5% 38-42 Mt2 ~37 Mt2
Copper 99.1 81.6 66.3 326.6 253.1 21.4% 49.5% 29.0% 320-355 kt ~325 kt
Nickel 44.9 42.1 47.4 164.9 179.1 6.7% -5.3% -7.9% 160-175 kt ~165 kt

 

1 Including third-party purchases, run-of-mine and feed for pelletizing plants.

2 Iron ore agglomerates guidance, including iron ore pellets and briquettes.

 

Sales summary

            % change
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Iron ore fines1 77,885 69,714 81,202 256,789 260,663 11.7% -4.1% -1.5%
Iron ore pellets 10,285 8,613 8,789 35,840 33,164 19.4% 17.0% 8.1%
Iron ore ROM 2,158 2,232 1,963 8,290 8,216 -3.3% 9.9% 0.9%
Copper 97.5 73.8 71.6 307.8 243.9 32.1% 36.2% 26.2%
Nickel 47.9 39.2 58.2 167.9 180.8 22.2% -17.7% -7.1%

 

1 Including third-party purchases.

 

 

Price realization summary

            % change
US$/t 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Iron ore fines (CFR/FOB, wmt) 118.3 105.1 95.6 108.1 108.1 12.6% 23.7% -
Iron ore pellets (CFR/FOB, wmt) 163.4 161.2 165.6 161.9 188.6 1.4% -1.3% -14.2%
Copper1 7,941 7,731 8,774 7,960 8,052 2.7% -9.5% -1.1%
Nickel 18,420 21,237 24,454 21,830 23,669 -13.3% -24.7% -7.8%

1 Average realized price for copper operations only (Salobo and Sossego). Average realized copper price for all operations, including copper sales originated from nickel operations, was US$ 7,867/t in 4Q23 and US$ 7,903/t in 2023.

 

 

1 
 

Business highlights in 4Q23

 

Iron Ore and Pellets operations

·Northern System production increased by 3.8 Mt y/y and 0.7 Mt q/q, reflecting positive results from continued initiatives to improve asset reliability and operational stability at Serra Norte and S11D.  
  
·The Southeastern System output was 3.2 Mt higher y/y and 1.2 Mt higher q/q, driven by (i) Conceição concentration plants' improved performance in Itabira; (ii) higher mining equipment availability at Alegria; and (iii) higher third-party purchases.
·Southern System production increased by 1.6 Mt y/y and 1.2 Mt q/q, mainly driven by (i) improved performance at the Vargem Grande Complex; and (ii) higher third-party purchases, partially offset by lower production at Viga, which resumed operations in late November, as well as lower run-of-mine output.
·Pellet production increased by 1.6 Mt y/y and 0.7 Mt q/q, driven by an increase in pellet feed supply from Brucutu, resulting in higher pellet output from the Tubarão plants, partially offset by planned maintenance at the São Luis and Oman plants in October. In Q4, Vale started producing iron ore briquettes at the Tubarão Complex, and volumes will start to be recorded in 1H24.
·Iron ore fines and pellet sales reached 88.2 Mt in the quarter, 9.8 Mt higher q/q and flat y/y, driven by higher production and inventory sales, taking advantage of favorable market conditions.  
  
·The average realized iron ore fines price was US$ 118.3/t, US$ 13.2/t higher q/q, largely attributed to higher benchmark iron ore prices and a positive impact from forward price adjustments. The average realized iron ore pellet price was US$ 163.4/t, relatively flat q/q, as the positive effect from higher benchmark iron ore prices was offset by lower quarterly pellet premiums.
·The all-in premium totaled US$ 1.6/t[1], US$ 2.2/t lower q/q and US$ 3.8/t lower y/y. Given market conditions in Q4, with lower discounts for high-silica products as well as lower premiums for high-grade products, Vale decided to increase high-silica products’ share in the sales mix, while rebalancing premium iron ore inventories (IOCJ and BRBF), maximizing its product portfolio value.

[1] Iron ore premium of US$ -1.1/t and the weighted average contribution of the pellet business of US$ 2.6/t.

 

2 
 

 

Copper operations

·Salobo copper production increased by 25.6 kt y/y and 5.6 kt q/q, with the Salobo 3 ramp-up and the continuous increase in plant availability and productivity at the Salobo 1&2 plants. Salobo Complex throughput achieved a pace of 32.3 Mtpy during a 90-day period (August-November).  
  
·Sossego copper production increased by 6.1 kt y/y and 4.3 kt q/q, as the mining plan moved into higher-grade zones. In December, Sossego achieved record results: (i) the best monthly rate at the SAG mill since 2021, and (ii) the best milling rate since 2020, as well as the highest copper contained production since 2021, achieved in November.
·Copper production in Canada increased by 1.0 kt y/y and 7.5 kt q/q, mainly driven by higher copper precipitate production in Thompson and increased copper production in Voisey’s Bay, as underground mining operations ramp up.
·Copper sales[2] totaled 97.5 kt in the quarter, 25.9 kt higher y/y and 23.7 kt q/q, driven by higher production.
·Average copper realized price was US$ 7,941/t, 2.7% higher q/q, mainly a result of positive provisional price adjustments, as the average LME reference price was lower than the average forward curve at the end of the quarter.

 

 

 


[2] Sales volumes are lower than production volumes due to payable copper vs. contained copper: part of the copper contained in the concentrates is lost in the smelting and refining process, hence payable quantities of copper are approximately 3.5% lower than contained volumes.

 

 

 

3 
 

Nickel operations

·Finished nickel production from Sudbury-sourced ore decreased by 1.1 kt y/y, mainly due to the longer planned maintenance at Creighton mine for partial repair of the shaft, which impacted timing and flow of ore feed material to mill. Production increased by 1.9 kt q/q, following annual mine maintenance performed in Q3.  
  
·Finished nickel production from Thompson-sourced ore increased by 0.8 kt y/y and 1.9 kt q/q, mainly as a result of intermediate product recovery from precipitates as part of the circular mining initiative.
·Finished nickel production from Voisey’s Bay-sourced ore decreased by 1.1 kt y/y and 0.4 kt q/q driven by the ongoing planned transition from the Ovoid open pit mine depletion to the underground VBME project ramp-up. Contained nickel in ore mined increased by 2.2 kt y/y as the underground mines continue to ramp up.
·Finished nickel production from third parties increased by 1.6 kt y/y and 1.8 kt q/q. The consumption of third-party feed is in line with the strategy to maximize the utilization and performance of our downstream operations.
·Finished nickel production from Indonesia-sourced material increased by 1.8 kt y/y and 2.7 kt q/q, mainly reflecting the higher availability of nickel in matte from Indonesia. Nickel in matte production was 19.1 kt in the quarter, the highest since 4Q21, as it continues to benefit from the improved mine and furnace performance.
·Nickel production at Onça Puma decreased by 4.5 kt y/y and 5.2 kt q/q as operations are halted for the furnace rebuild to be completed in 1Q24.
·Nickel sales totaled 47.9 kt in the quarter, 3.0 kt higher than quarterly production, as expected, mainly due to inventory sales built in Q3 to cover the Onça Puma furnace rebuild.
·Average nickel realized price was US$ 18,420/t, down 13.3% q/q, mainly due to 15.2% lower LME reference prices q/q. The average realized nickel price in Q4 was 7% higher than the LME reference price, mainly due to the impact of positive hedging results and the higher share of Class I products in sales mix, sold at higher premiums.

 

4 
 

ANNEX 1 - Production and sales summary

 

 

Iron ore

            % change
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q233 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Northern System 48,852 48,188 45,097 172,968 171,555 1.4% 8.3% 0.8%
Serra Norte and Serra Leste 28,702 28,833 26,486 97,986 102,298 -0.5% 8.4% -4.2%
S11D 20,150 19,355 18,611 74,982 69,257 4.1% 8.3% 8.3%
Southeastern System 21,595 20,350 18,405 82,344 72,644 6.1% 17.3% 13.4%
Itabira (Cauê, Conceição and others) 7,979 7,619 7,007 31,399 27,283 4.7% 13.9% 15.1%
Minas Centrais (Brucutu and others) 6,658 5,939 5,395 24,546 20,759 12.1% 23.4% 18.2%
Mariana (Alegria, Timbopeba and others) 6,959 6,791 6,003 26,398 24,602 2.5% 15.9% 7.3%
Southern System 18,949 17,701 17,350 65,841 63,594 7.1% 9.2% 3.5%
Paraopeba (Mutuca, Fábrica and others) 8,758 8,214 8,403 28,870 30,106 6.6% 4.2% -4.1%
Vargem Grande (VGR, Pico and others) 10,191 9,488 8,947 37,061 33,488 7.4% 13.9% 10.7%
IRON ORE PRODUCTION1 89,397 86,238 80,852 321,154 307,793 3.7% 10.6% 4.3%
OWN PRODUCTION 81,585 79,073 75,872 297,170 289,330 3.2% 7.5% 2.7%
THIRD-PARTY PURCHASES 7,812 7,165 4,980 23,984 18,463 9.0% 56.9% 29.9%
IRON ORE SALES 90,328 80,559 91,954 300,919 302,042 12.1% -1.8% -0.4%
FINES SALES2 77,885 69,714 81,202 256,789 260,663 11.7% -4.1% -1.5%
PELLET SALES 10,285 8,613 8,789 35,840 33,164 19.4% 17.0% 8.1%
ROM SALES 2,158 2,232 1,963 8,290 8,216 -3.3% 9.9% 0.9%
SALES FROM 3RD PARTY PURCHASE 7,807 6,646 5,051 23,580 18,497 17.5% 54.6% 27.5%

1 Including third party purchases, run-of-mine and feed for pelletizing plants. Excluding Midwestern System volumes. Vale’s product portfolio Fe content reached 62.1%, alumina 1.3% and silica 7.2% in 4Q23.

2 Including third-party purchases.

3 Third-party purchase distribution between Southeastern and Southern Systems complexes were reinstated.

 

Pellets

            % change
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Northern System 735 1,037 739 3,221 3,212 -29.1% -0.5% 0.3%
  São Luis 735 1,037 739 3,221 3,212 -29.1% -0.5% 0.3%
Southeastern System 5,618 4,403 3,616 19,323 14,677 27.6% 55.4% 31.7%
  Itabrasco (Tubarão 3) 739 801 960 3,495 2,725 -7.7% -23.0% 28.3%
  Hispanobras (Tubarão 4) 892 720 - 1,669 - 23.9% n.m. n.m.
  Nibrasco (Tubarão 5 and 6) 1,585 837 1,131 4,760 3,465 89.4% 40.1% 37.4%
  Kobrasco (Tubarão 7) 899 557 178 3,204 3,034 61.4% 405.1% 5.6%
  Tubarão 8 1,503 1,488 1,347 6,195 5,451 1.0% -11.6% 13.6%
Southern System 1,175 1,107 1,222 4,629 4,305 6.1% -3.8% 7.5%
  Fábrica - - - - - - - -
  Vargem Grande 1,175 1,107 1,222 4,629 4,305 6.1% -3.8% 7.5%
Oman 2,323 2,628 2,684 9,283 9,919 -11.6% -13.5% -6.4%
PELLET PRODUCTION 9,851 9,175 8,261 36,455 32,111 7.4% 19.2% 13.5%
PELLET SALES 10,285 8,613 8,789 35,840 33,164 19.4% 17.0% 8.1%

 

Copper - Finished production by source

            % change
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Brazil 76.7 66.7 44.9 247.2 171.0 15.0% 70.8% 44.6%
Salobo 55.2 49.6 29.6 180.4 127.8 11.3% 86.5% 41.2%
Sossego 21.4 17.1 15.3 66.8 43.2 25.1% 39.9% 54.6%
Canada 22.4 14.9 21.4 79.4 82.1 50.3% 4.7% -3.3%
Sudbury 15.4 9.4 16.1 57.9 59.2 63.8% -4.3% -2.2%
Thompson 2.9 1.6 1.2 4.7 5.3 81.3% 141.7% -11.3%
Voisey's Bay 2.7 2.7 1.9 9.6 10.8 0.0% 42.1% -11.1%
Feed from third parties1 1.4 1.2 2.2 7.2 6.8 16.7% -36.4% 5.9%
COPPER PRODUCTION 99.1 81.6 66.3 326.6 253.1 21.4% 49.5% 29.0%
COPPER SALES 97.5 73.8 71.6       307.8  243.9 32.1% 36.2% 26.2%
Copper Sales Brazil 76.3 61.8 44.7 234.0  166.3 23.5% 70.7% 40.7%
Copper Sales Canada 21.2 12.0 26.9 73.8  77.5 76.7% -21.2% -4.8%

1 External feed purchased from third parties and processed into copper in our Canadian operation.

 

 

5 
 

Nickel - Finished production by source

            % change
000’ metric tons 4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
Canada 16.7 13.3 18.2 59.5 73.3 25.6% -8.2% -18.8%
Sudbury 10.0 8.1 11.1 38.2 39.0 23.5% -9.9% -2.1%
Thompson 3.2 1.3 2.4 7.9 9.9 146.2% 33.3% -20.2%
Voisey's Bay 3.5 3.9 4.6 13.5 24.4 -10.3% -23.9% -44.7%
Indonesia 19.8 17.1 18.0 64.1 63.9 15.8% 10.0% 0.3%
Brazil 0.6 5.8 5.1 17.0 23.6 -89.7% -88.2% -28.0%
Feed from third-parties1 7.7 5.9 6.1 24.2 18.3 30.5% 26.2% 32.2%
NICKEL PRODUCTION 44.9 42.1 47.4 164.9 179.1 6.7% -5.3% -7.9%
NICKEL SALES 47.9 39.2 58.2 167.9 180.8 22.2% -17.7% -7.1%

 

1 External feed purchased from third parties and processed into finished nickel in our Canadian operations.

 

Energy Transition Metals by-products - Finished production  

            % change
  4Q23 3Q23 4Q22 2023 2022 4Q23/3Q23 4Q23/4Q22 2023/2022
COBALT (000’ metric tons) 549 452 529 1,959 2,434 21.5% 3.8% -19.5%
PLATINUM (000’ oz troy) 31 24 25 125 102 29.2% 24.0% 22.5%
PALLADIUM (000’ oz troy) 39 24 33 149 127 62.5% 18.2% 17.3%
GOLD (000’ oz troy)1 123 117 74 410 289 5.1% 66.2% 41.9%

TOTAL BY-PRODUCTS

(000’ metric tons Cu eq.)2 3

45 38 34 156 134 18.4% 32.4% 16.4%

1 Includes Gold from Copper and Nickel operations.

2 Includes Iridium, Rhodium, Ruthenium and Silver.

3 Copper equivalent tons calculated using average market metal prices for each quarter. Market reference prices: for copper and cobalt: LME spot; for Gold and Silver: LME spot for 2Q22 (including 1H22) and NYMEX from 3Q22 onwards; for Platinum and Palladium: NYMEX spot; for other PGMs: Johnson Matthey.

 

 

6 
 

 

ANNEX 2 – Energy Transition Metals: Maintenance scheduled in 2024

 

Operation Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Copper operations        
Salobo        
Salobo I&II < 1 week <1 week 1.5 week <1 week
Salobo III 1.5 week 1.5 week 1.5 week 1 week
Sossego        
Sossego 4.5 weeks 1 week 2 weeks 1 week
Nickel operations        
Sudbury        
Coleman     4.5 weeks  
Creighton     9 weeks  
Copper Cliff North     4 weeks  
Copper Cliff South     1.5 week  
Garson     4 weeks  
Totten     2 weeks  
Clarabelle mill     4.5 weeks  
Sudbury Smelter   4 weeks    
Sudbury Refinery   6 weeks    
Port Colborne (Co & PGMs)   5 weeks    
Thompson        
Thompson mine     4.5 weeks  
Thompson mill     4.5 weeks  
Voisey’s Bay & Long Harbour
Voisey’s Bay   2 weeks    
Long Harbour Refinery   4.5 weeks    
Standalone Refineries        
Clydach   4.5 weeks    
Matsusaka 4.5 weeks      
Indonesia        
PTVI (furnaces/kilns only) 3 weeks 1 week 4 weeks 3 weeks
Brazil        
Onça Puma 9.5 weeks¹ <1 week <1 week <1 week

¹ Refers to the furnace rebuild. The ramp up after maintenance is not included in the number of weeks.

Note: The maintenance schedule may be deliberately adjusted if it proves beneficial for operations and the overall business. The number of weeks is rounded to 0.0 or 0.5 and may involve more than one maintenance activity within the quarter.

 

7 
 

 

Further information on Vale can be found at: vale.com

 

Investor Relations

Vale IR: vale.ri@vale.com

Thiago Lofiego: thiago.lofiego@vale.com

Luciana Oliveti: luciana.oliveti@vale.com

Mariana Rocha: mariana.rocha@vale.com

Pedro Terra: pedro.terra@vale.com

 

 

 

This press release may include statements about Vale's current expectations about future events or results (forward-looking statements), including in particular expectations for production and sales of iron ore, nickel and copper on pages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Many of those forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "expect," "should," "plan," "intend," "estimate" “will” and "potential," among others. All forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. Vale cannot guarantee that these statements will prove correct. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, factors related to: (a) the countries where Vale operates, especially Brazil and Canada; (b) the global economy; (c) the capital markets; (d) the mining and metals prices and their dependence on global industrial production, which is cyclical by nature; and (e) global competition in the markets in which Vale operates. Vale cautions you that actual results may differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in this presentation. Vale undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information or future events or for any other reason. To obtain further information on factors that may lead to results different from those forecast by Vale, please consult the reports that Vale files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Brazilian Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) and, in particular, the factors discussed under “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Vale’s annual report on Form 20-F.

 

 

   

 

 

 

8 
 

Signatures

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

  Vale S.A.
(Registrant)  
   
  By: /s/ Thiago Lofiego
Date: January 29, 2024   Director of Investor Relations

 


Vale (NYSE:VALE)
Gráfico Histórico do Ativo
De Mar 2024 até Abr 2024 Click aqui para mais gráficos Vale.
Vale (NYSE:VALE)
Gráfico Histórico do Ativo
De Abr 2023 até Abr 2024 Click aqui para mais gráficos Vale.