Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE) confirmed Friday it is in talks “with a potential investor” to sell part of its $3bn Moatize coal project in Mozambique, including a stake in its deep water port of Nacala, but did not name its counterpart.
“If and when the parties reach an agreement, a press release will be issued to the market detailing the transaction,” the miner said in the statement.
Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei broke the news Friday morning, saying Mitsui & Co would acquire a 15% in Vale Mozambique for $450 million to $750 million, Noticiasdemineracao reports (in Portuguese).
The Japanese trading house is also said to be buying half of the 70% Vale has in the Nacala Corridor, which has Mozambican state port and rail company CFM as a partner.
The Nacala Corridor includes a railway between Moatize and Nacala, via Malawi and the port.
Beyond a commercial partnership, Vale and Mitsui have an exchange program that dates back to 2003. According to Vale’s website, it offers an immersion into the processes of Mitsui, Vale and partner companies through sharing experiences and technical visits. Valer —Vale Education— coordinates the initiative in Brazil since 2007.
In June this year, a Mitsui delegation visited Vale’s port operations in Mozambique. At the time, the company said the trip was part of the long-term education exchange deal.