Anglo in talks to jointly develop Serpentina iron ore project with Brazil’s Vale SA

Iron ore pellets

ANGLO American said on December 29 that it was in preliminary discussions with Vale SA to jointly develop the Brazilian miner’s Serpentina project.

The project is adjacent to Anglo American’s Minas Rio iron ore mine, according to a report by Reuters.

Anglo did not divulge details but Vale said a day earlier the potential partnership could leverage Anglo’s “processing and logistics infrastructure” from Minas Rio which includes a mine, a 529 km (328.7 miles) transport pipeline and a port.

Anglo said there was no certainty a deal will be struck or what its terms could be, echoing Vale, which said no decision has been made over the project. The Brazilian miner said it often evaluates partnerships as part of its business.

Vale’s disclosure on Tuesday came after a Bloomberg News report last week said the Brazilian miner was considering acquiring either a minority or majority stake in Minas Rio, citing people familiar with the preliminary discussions.

Anglo bought Minas Rio in 2007-2008 from former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista for about $5.5bn. The mine performed strongly last year, producing 24.1 million tons of iron ore, helping the miner offset some hit from the pandemic, said Reuters.

The Serpentina project comprises mining rights in three municipalities in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Vale said.