Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. are looking to acquire a minority stake in nickel and copper operations of Brazilian firm Vale, reported Bloomberg News citing people familiar with the issue.

Some of the other firms considering a stake in Vale’s base metals business include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Mubadala Investment Co. and Qatar Investment Authority.

Vale is seeking initial bids for the stake in the coming weeks and expects to rake in over $2bn through the potential sale, according to Bloomberg.

Furthermore, the company approached other potential bidders, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte and BlackRock, to gauge their interest.

A potential deal could value Vale’s unit at $20bn-$25bn, the people said.

Vale is planning to divest at least a 10% stake in the business. However, the stake for sale could be increased at the right price, the people said.

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Deliberations are underway between Vale and potential bidders.

In a separate development, Vale signed agreements with local authorities and clients to develop ‘mega hubs’ to produce low-carbon products for the steelmaking industries in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

The proposed mega hubs will be equipped to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI) and steel products with significant CO₂ emissions reduction.

Vale reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Development Center (NIDC) to assess the feasibility of developing a Mega Hub at Ras Al Khair Industrial City.

An MoU has also been signed between Vale and Emirates Steel Arkan (ESA) for the Mega Hub development study at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD).

Vale and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman also signed a cooperation memorandum to jointly study a Mega Hub development at Special Economic Zone at Duqm.

Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said: “With this initiative, Vale will guarantee the availability of high-grade agglomerated products and foster the expansion of the low CO2 emission steel industry.”