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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazilian mining company Vale is in advanced talks with possible partners for its new base metals investment vehicle and looks to have a deal concluded during the first half of 2023, Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Pimenta said on Wednesday.
Pimenta told investors during a meeting at the New York Stock Exchange that Brazil’s Vale will sell only 10% of the new base metals unit to the chosen partner and will retain the remaining 90% so as to have control over the decisions for the venture.
The new company, which will be headquartered outside of Brazil – with Canada as a strong possibility – will have an estimated capex of $20 billion and will manage the nickel and copper projects in Brazil, Canada and Indonesia.
Pimenta said the key quality Vale is looking when deciding for the partner is expertise.
“We will change the way we manage base metals. We are looking to bring people with the capability to advise the board on investment decisions,” he told reporters after the meeting, adding that the objective is to accelerate plans in the area.
Demand for metals like nickel and lithium is seen growing sharply in coming years due to expected production growth of electric vehicles (EV). Those are the main metals used in the batteries.
Vale is particularly looking to be well placed to supply the EV growth in North America.
Pimenta did not give financial details of the deal, or any comment on how much the 10% share would cost. He said more information on the modeling of the business would be available to the market in the first quarter of 2023.
Demand for copper is also expected to rise globally due to the energy transition towards more electrification.
(This story has been corrected to fix the role of Gustavo Pimenta to Chief Financial Officer, and not Chief Executive, in the first paragraph)