Vale hopes to return to 400 million tonnes annual output in 2-3 years, CFO says

Vale’s Ponta da Madeira Terminal located in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. Photo by Vale.

Brazilian miner Vale SA’s chief financial officer said on Friday that the company could restore production to a level of 400 million metric tonnes of iron ore within two to three years after a deadly dam burst curtailed activity at several mines.

At the same time, CFO Luciano Siani said that quickly restarting production was not the company’s top priority after the Brumadinho disaster, for which the company was forced to take nearly $5 billion in writedowns in the first quarter.

“We’re not in a hurry,” Siani told analysts on a conference call. “We’re working together with prosecutors and the authorities with a common objective: making sure that there won’t be any kind of resumption until there is absolute safety.”

When asked about dividends on a conference call with analysts, Siani also said investor payouts were not a priority at the moment.

Earlier on the same call, newly appointed Vale Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said the miner was fully committed to paying reparations to those affected by the dam collapse, which killed at least 237 people.

(Reporting By Christian Plumb and Marta Nogueira Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

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