Vale buys innovator New Steel for $500m

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian miner Vale SA , the world's biggest iron ore and nickel producer, said on Tuesday it had agreed with Hankoe FIP investment fund to buy innovation company New Steel for $500 million.

New Steel develops innovative technology to process iron ore and currently owns patents in 56 countries for its dry processing method known as Fines Dry Magnetic Separation or FDMS, it said.

The transaction is expected to occur in 2019, subject to approval by antitrust authorities in Brazil.

The New Steel technology will support the development of Vale’s high-grade pellet feed initiatives, including the Southeastern System 20 Mtpy pellet feed project, Vale said.

Vale has focused on sales of better quality iron ore, mostly from its S11D project in Pará state, as demand for the cleaner and less polluting product rises in China, its main market.

(By Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler)