Part of the Simandou
iron ore project
in Guinea
 
Dakar, Senegal — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 October 2010 – Brazilian mining giant Vale plans to invest up to US$20 billion (R136 billion) in projects in Africa over the next five years “’ much more than the US$2.5 billion (R17 million) spent on projects there so far.

The company “’ which is the world’s largest iron ore miner “’ said in an interview here that it could become one of the top three copper producers on the continent, but that it was also targeting significant investments in coal and iron ore.

Reuters reports that Vale and a number of other Brazilian firms have expanded their interests in Africa under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who steps down this year, having led a diplomatic push onto the continent urging Brazilian firms to invest there.

The company revealed that most of the US$20 billion (R136 billion) it would invest in Africa would be spent in Mozambique, Zambia, Guinea and Liberia.

Vale said it had a vision to be among the top three players in copper mining in Africa. It pointed out that the high-grade copper in the Copperbelt meant the capital required to have an operation there was not high compared to other regions.

Vale has a US$1.3 billion (R8.8 billion) coal project in Mozambique that is due to begin production next year. It also has a stake in the vast Simandou iron ore deposit through a US$2.5 billion (R17 billion) deal with BSG Resources.

The company is also eyeing copper opportunities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola, while it has launched an exploration programme for coal in Tanzania.