Brazil’s Vale Fires 1,300 and Halts Operations Due to Crisis

Vale's Tubarão operations Vale, Brazil's giant mining company, announced this Monday, December 8, in an official press release on its website, the suspension of operations at two plants located in the Port of Tubarão, in the state of EspÀ­rito Santo, with total annual production capacity of 7.3 million metric tons of pellets (small lumps of iron ore).

Interruption of production is a direct consequence of decreasing orders from China, which is the leading client of the Brazilian multinational and is also a market affected by the global crisis.

"The decision to curtail pellet production is due to the unprecedented contraction of the global demand for iron ore and pellets," informs the release by Vale, which does not announce new dismissals.

According to the company, interruption at the two plants adds up to the interruption of activities at two other of Vale's units at Port of Tubarão, since November 5, 2008.

Furthermore, it is part of a production adjustment already underway in the company, which has suspended, up until January 2009, "two pellet plants. The plants currently being kept idled involve an overall total capacity of 29.3 million metric tons of pellets per year," informs the release.

"In light of the severe global recession and the uncertainties about the future, Vale will continue to manage its production in line with its assessment of market conditions prevailing in the short-term," informs the release issued by the mining company.

Last week, Vale dismissed 1,300 employees and placed another 5,500 on leave. According to the press office at the mining company, Vale is relocating dismissed personnel to other factories.



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