Vale mulls base metal spin-off on heated EV market demand

Brazilian miner Vale is evaluating the option to carry out a spin-off of its base metals unit and an eventual initial public offering (IPO) to take advantage of the battery electric vehicle boom.

Company’s ceo Eduardo Bartolomeo said in a call monitored by Kallanish on Tuesday that revisiting the spin-off idea would add value to the business, thanks to strong demand from the energy transition.

“We are analysing this opportunity. We have assets such as those in Carajás that are intertwined with the iron ore assets. We need to find out a way to deal with this,” comments the ceo. “So, there is a pre-condition to do the business that we are studying. We are in the initial phase of going back to that view that we had in 2014 but in a much different way. Now we think we have a better foundation.”

Bartolomeo claims Vale is in a position to be a major supplier of premium metals to electric vehicle manufacturers. Its base metals business includes operations in Canada, Brazil, UK, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Zambia.

The company has recently sold its nickel assets in New Caledonia to Trafigura. Yet, it describes itself as the world’s largest nickel producer — a key material in EV batteries. Vale’s nickel mining takes places in Brazil, Canada and Indonesia, while refining operations are located in China, South Korea, Japan, UK and Taiwan.

Its EV battery materials portfolio also includes copper and manganese.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria , Gabriela Farhangi UK