This Morning in Metals: Vale Announces $2.5B Investment in Dry Iron Ore Processing

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This morning in metals news, Brazilian miner Vale SA has plans to invest approximately $2.5 billion over the next five years in dry iron ore processing, Rusal reported a drop in its first-quarter profits and copper prices bounced back.

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Processing Plans

Miner Vale SA announced it plans to invest approximately $2.5 billion in dry iron ore processing at its operations.

The investment will be made over the next five years. Currently, approximately 60% Vale’s production comes from dry processing; the miner aims to make dry iron ore processing account for 70% of its production.

Dry iron ore processing does not require water, which means there is no need for dams and tailing are not generated. In January, a dam collapse at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in Brumadinho led to hundreds of deaths.

Rusal Profits Slide in Q1

Still feeling the bite of U.S. sanctions that were then in effect, Rusal reported its Q1 profits fell to $300 million from $531 million last year, Reuters reported.

The U.S. sanctions were removed in January; after being applied in April 2018, aluminum prices skyrocketed on fears of Rusal aluminum being taken off the market.

Copper Prices Bounce Back

After dropping to a 15-week low, the copper price picked back up Tuesday (despite the conclusion of U.S.-China trade talks last week without a deal).

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LME copper picked up 0.7% to reach $6,049.50 per ton, according to Reuters.

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