Brazilian miner Vale has recorded a decline in net profit in the first quarter of 2023 due to weaker sales and reduced iron ore prices.

In Q1 2023, the miner’s net income attributable to its stockholders stood at $1.83bn, marking a 59% decrease from $4.45bn in the same quarter a year ago.

Proforma adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for Q1 2023 stood at $3.68bn, a reduction from $6.37bn in the prior year.

The drop is due to reduced sales of iron ore fines, lower realised prices of iron ore fines and pellets, and higher costs.

The company posted net operating revenues of $8.43bn in the January-March 2023 quarter, versus $10.81bn in Q1 2022. Capital expenditures stood at $1.13bn.

Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said: “Our Q1 results showed stronger iron ore production, supported by S11D improved performance, thanks to our truckless system improved reliability and the new crushers.

“Despite the weather-related loading restrictions that impacted our sales, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our 2023 goals. Our Energy Transition Metals results were solid, with continued ramp up at Salobo III, resulting in a strong performance in copper.”

The company’s net debt for the quarter that ended 31 March 2023 increased to $8.22bn from $4.91bn in the same prior a year ago.

In February 2023, Reuters reported that PT Vale Indonesia Tbk (PT Vale) commenced construction on a $2.48bn integrated low-carbon nickel mining and processing project in Central Sulawesi.

Being built in Sambalagi Village, Bungku Pesisir District, Morowali Regency, the Bahodopi project will produce ferronickel containing 73,000tpa to 80,000tpa of nickel content.