Brazil's mining company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce has reached record levels of production in 2007. According to a company press statement, production totaled 296 million tons of iron ore, 17.6 million tons of iron pellets and 248,000 tons of refined nickel.
The company also produced 284,000 tons of copper, 9.1 million tons of bauxite, 4.3 million tons of alumina, 551,000 tons of aluminum, 1.3 million tons of caolin and 2,500 tons of cobalt.
According to Vale, this performance is the result of investment in 20 projects in existing exploration areas and in new projects that have been under development since the beginning of this decade as well as acquisitions and productivity gains. According to the company, between 2003 and 2007, productivity has grown on average 11.6% a year.
Production of iron ore, according to the company, grew 12% last year, pellets, 23.9%, nickel, already counting the production of the Canadian Inco, acquired by Vale, rose 5.6%, copper, calculating the results obtained in Brazil and Canada, grew 6.6%, cobalt, in Canada, rose 27.6%, caolin, 0.1%, bauxite, 28.4%, alumina, 8%, aluminum, 0.1% and iron alloys, 1.4%.
There has been a reduction, however, in the production of manganese ore, platinum, palladium, gold, silver and potassium. The company also announced the production of 2.2 million tons of charcoal in mines it runs in Australia.
Brazilian leather exports grew 4% in January over the same month last year. According to figures supplied by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, complied by the Association of Tannery Industries of Rio Grande do Sul (AICSul), sector foreign sales totaled US$ 183 million last month.
The main clients in the period were China, Italy and the United States. In January 2007, Brazil exported 1.6 million pieces of wet blue leather. In the first month of this year, the total dropped to 939,000 pieces. With regard to sales revenues, the reduction in the wet blue area was 27%, to US$ 47.9 million.